experiment

noun
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt How to pronounce experiment (audio) also -ˈspir- How to pronounce experiment (audio) \

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 How to pronounce experiment (audio) 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 How to pronounce experimentation (audio) , -​ˌmen-​ also  -​ˌspir-​ \ noun
experimenter \ ik-​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌmen-​tər How to pronounce experimenter (audio) also  -​ˈspir-​ \ noun

Synonyms for experiment

Synonyms: Noun

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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 That is the essence of the great democratic experiment of America—one that is far from finding a perfect, fair balance of power, but exists and thrives only in its relentless pursuit. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "The history of the US ballot is a fascinating journey through the making of a democracy," 2 July 2020 His experiment consisted of setting off consumer fireworks in a stainless-steel chamber, filtering the particles with a pump, then exposing human cells and mice to the particles. Megan Marples, CNN, "Some consumer fireworks emit high levels of lead and other toxins, a new study finds," 1 July 2020 What did this virtual experiment reveal about the meaning of community? Lauren Goode, Wired, "Virtual Conferences Mean All-Access—Except When They Don't," 27 June 2020 Those who play sports have become the guinea pigs in this pandemic experiment. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks stubborn stance on release of coronavirus testing is a fumble," 26 June 2020 The festival began life as a Seattle-only experiment, produced by The Stranger, a weekly newspaper where Savage once served as editor in chief. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Hump!, the online porn fest that wouldn’t have happened without quarantine," 26 June 2020 In a way, neutrons trapped by the gravity of a planet form an enormous bottle experiment—albeit one with a completely different set of systematic uncertainties than those associated with that method (or the beam approach) on Earth. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, "How Long Do Neutrons Live? Space Probe Could Put Debate to Rest," 25 June 2020 Emilio is a one-man experiment in the limits of the essential worker classification. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, "America Owes More to Its “Essential” Immigrant Workers," 19 June 2020 What has emerged is an experiment in life without the police — part street festival, part commune. Mike Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "Free food, free speech and free of police: inside Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone’," 13 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There is a new openness to experiment with new forms of community policing that don't involve cops (some rather daft), demilitarize the police, and scale back police funding. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, "What makes America exceptional," 2 July 2020 Lorenzen used the last few months to experiment with different areas of his game, including his warm-up. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Will Cincinnati Reds pitchers be ready for the season with a shortened preseason camp?," 28 June 2020 GNS Healthcare on Thursday launched an artificial intelligence platform that acts as a virtual patient, allowing drugmakers and academic centers to experiment with drugs in the virtual world before treating patients in clinical trials. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "AI Virtual Patient Platform Aims to Help Treat Deadly Blood Cancer," 25 June 2020 Add it all up, and the incentive for retailers to experiment with pop-ups has never been stronger. Lydia Belanger, Fortune, "Pop-up retail was made for the pandemic," 25 June 2020 There are loads of no-sew options to experiment with. Vicky Hallett, National Geographic, "Here’s how kids can volunteer, even from home," 23 June 2020 Before deciding on your tile layout, rotate individual tiles to experiment with different orientations, then step back to view the overall effect. Laura Lambert, Better Homes & Gardens, "Bold, Colorful Tile Is Everywhere Right Now: Here's How to Get the Look," 11 June 2020 Before closing in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, the museum had seen an influx of high school students, many of them black, who viewed MOCA as a welcoming place to hang out on weekday afternoons and to experiment with art, Snyder said. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Jill Snyder resigns as director of Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, citing need for change," 19 June 2020 Powder rooms are a great place to experiment with outside-the-box design elements. Laura Lambert, Better Homes & Gardens, "These Floor Tile Phrases Will Make You Smile Every Time You Walk into the Room," 17 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for experiment

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for experiment

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Experiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/experiment. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for experiment

experiment

noun
How to pronounce experiment (audio) How to pronounce experiment (audio)

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
How to pronounce experiment (audio)

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 How to pronounce experiment (audio) \

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 How to pronounce experiment (audio) \
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
ex·​per·​i·​ment | \ -ˌment How to pronounce experiment (audio) \

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-​ How to pronounce experimentation (audio) \ noun
experimenter \ -​ˈsper-​ə-​ˌment-​ər also -​ˈspir-​ How to pronounce experimenter (audio) \ noun

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Comments on experiment

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