ge·​dank·​en·​ex·​per·​i·​ment gə-ˈdäŋ-kən-ik-ˌsper-ə-mənt How to pronounce gedankenexperiment (audio)
 also  -ˌspir-
: an experiment carried out in thought only

Examples of gedankenexperiment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Around the same time, a group in Shenzhen also contacted us to discuss carrying out our gedankenexperiment with optical systems. Marc-Olivier Renou, Scientific American, 13 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gedankenexperiment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


German, from Gedanke thought + Experiment experiment

First Known Use

1941, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gedankenexperiment was in 1941

Dictionary Entries Near gedankenexperiment

Cite this Entry

“Gedankenexperiment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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