experiment

noun
ex·per·i·ment | \ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt also -ˈspir- \

Definition of experiment 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : test, trial make another experiment of his suspicion— William Shakespeare

b : a tentative procedure or policy

c : an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law

2 obsolete : experience

3 : the process of testing : experimentation

experiment

verb
ex·per·i·ment | \ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌment also -ˈspir \
experimented; experimenting; experiments

Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to carry out experiments : try out a new procedure, idea, or activity

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Other Words from experiment

Verb

experimentation \ik-ˌsper-ə-mən-ˈtā-shən, -ˌmen- also -ˌspir- \ noun
experimenter \ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌmen-tər also -ˈspir- \ noun

Synonyms for experiment

Synonyms: Noun

essay, experimentation, test, trial

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Examples of experiment in a Sentence

Noun

Students will carry out simple laboratory experiments. They did some experiments with magnets. These theories have not yet been confirmed by experiment. an experiment in living more frugally the city's experiment with a longer school year
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In each experiment, respondents were randomly selected to receive different versions of the stories. Benjamin Toff, Washington Post, "How worried are you about an impending trade war? That might depend on what your fellow party members think," 12 July 2018 In a separate experiment, researchers used the method to repair cells from three human siblings with a rare autoimmune disease. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Gene editing technique could improve cancer treatments, other ailments," 12 July 2018 And those involved in the experiment are concerned that all their efforts will have been wasted. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "In Hendricks County, Ronald Reagan Parkway extension pits science against growth," 9 July 2018 In an opioid epidemic that is killing tens of thousands of Americans a year, people like Kline and her doctor Michael Peck are unlikely pioneers in a drug-treatment experiment. Rita Giordano, Philly.com, "Could marijuana help treat opioid addiction? Pennsylvania may soon find out," 6 July 2018 In experiments in 2013, there was no rain and the weather was hot. Rob O'dell, azcentral, "What dead pigs can teach us about missing bodies in the Arizona desert," 5 July 2018 In another experiment, the researchers constructed three-dimensional mazes that look a bit like miniature Doom levels. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google researchers created an amazing scene-rendering AI," 29 June 2018 Even those families who crossed the border hoping for asylum were caught up in the El Paso experiment. NBC News, "Trump admin ran 'pilot program' for separating migrant families in 2017," 29 June 2018 Popular Science’s Kat Eschner reports that the scientists analyzed data from more than 100 experiments detailed in 23 lab studies of bees’ responses to floral scents. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Safe’ Levels of Pesticide Still Hamper Bees’ Memory and Ability to Learn," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Subsequently, both sides opted to give some of their second string players a run out, giving the managers a rare opportunity to experiment with their sides on such a big stage. SI.com, "'Best Man on the Field' - Reds Fans React to Liverpool Star's World Cup Performance Against Belgium," 29 June 2018 The new book and paper suggest that Asperger referred dozens of children to a clinic called Am Spiegelgrund in Vienna, where doctors experimented on children or killed them. Hannah Furfaro, Science | AAAS, "Pioneering autism researcher cooperated with Nazis, new evidence suggests," 19 Apr. 2018 Castro also accelerated the idea of private entrepreneurship, something that his older brother only experimented with on a small scale. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Raúl Castro: 5 things to know about departing Cuba president," 18 Apr. 2018 The advantage has afforded coach Mike D’Antoni time to rest his players and the space to experiment on offense. Houston Chronicle, "With large lead for first, Rockets can experiment with offense heading into playoffs," 27 Mar. 2018 Genzken was found guilty of experimenting on people using poisons and incendiary bombs and was sentenced to life in prison. Bard Wilkinson And Nadine Schmidt, CNN, "'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening dies before serving sentence," 13 Mar. 2018 The company has begun to experiment with electric bicycles. Eric Newcomer, chicagotribune.com, "Lyft buys company behind Divvy, joining bike-rental business," 2 July 2018 So the team began experimenting with making the fibers softer. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "What Will It Take To Make Vegan Wool?," 29 June 2018 The two artists met while attending Brown University and eventually began experimenting with fermentation, playing with everything from ginger beer to kimchi before diving into alcoholic territory. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Brooklyn’s Newest Brewery Will Be Your Favorite Summer Spot," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'experiment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of experiment

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1787, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for experiment

Noun

Middle English, "testing, proof, remedy," borrowed from Anglo-French esperiment, borrowed from Latin experīmentum "testing, experience, proof," from experīrī "to put to the test, attempt, have experience of, undergo" + -mentum -ment — more at experience entry 1

Verb

verbal derivative of experiment entry 1

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for experiment

The first known use of experiment was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for experiment

experiment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects in order to learn about something

: something that is done as a test : something that you do to see how well or how badly it works

experiment

verb

English Language Learners Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects

: to try a new activity or a new way of doing or thinking about something

experiment

noun
ex·per·i·ment | \ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt \

Kids Definition of experiment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a trial or test made to find out about something

experiment

verb
ex·per·i·ment | \ik-ˈsper-ə-ˌment \
experimented; experimenting

Kids Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to try or test a new way, idea, or activity : to make experiments

experiment

noun
ex·per·i·ment | \ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt also -ˈspir-\

Medical Definition of experiment 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law

2 : the process of testing : experimentation

experiment

intransitive verb
ex·per·i·ment | \-ˌment \

Medical Definition of experiment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to carry out experiments

Other Words from experiment

experimentation \ik-ˌsper-ə-mən-ˈtā-shən, -ˌmen- also -ˌspir- \ noun
experimenter \-ˈsper-ə-ˌment-ər also -ˈspir- \ noun

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