noun, often attributive
lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry | \ ˈla-b(ə-)rə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce laboratory (audio) , sometimes ˈla-bər-ˌtȯr- or ˈla-bə-ˌtȯr- or lə-ˈbȯr-ə-ˌtȯr-, British usually lə-ˈbär-ə-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce laboratory (audio) \
plural laboratories

Definition of laboratory

1a : a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis a research laboratory broadly : a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study
b : a place like a laboratory for testing, experimentation, or practice That area is a laboratory for cultivating the germ of terrorism.
2 : an academic period set aside for laboratory work a course of study requiring two lectures and one laboratory per week

Examples of laboratory in a Sentence

experiments conducted in a modern laboratory

Recent Examples on the Web

Red rocks from Mars, carefully selected by Mars 2020, could be safely stowed in the laboratories of Earth in 10 to 20 years. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Plan to Return Samples From Mars Takes a Step Forward," 30 Apr. 2018 The scientists who used this evidence were rarely sedentary geniuses working in laboratories insulated from imperial politics and economics. Rohan Deb Roy, Smithsonian, "Science Still Bears the Fingerprints of Colonialism," 10 Apr. 2018 Trump proposes to end funding for the International Space Station after 2024 by privatizing the orbiting laboratory. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump budget highlights disconnect between populist rhetoric and plutocrat reality," 13 Feb. 2018 Lee and Kristin Zhao, who directs Mayo's assistive and restorative laboratory, decided to repeat the experiment — and Chinnock's success surprised them. Fox News, "Paralyzed patients take first steps after implant, intense rehab," 25 Sep. 2018 This wasn’t quite like Hakeem Olajuwon's fabled low-post laboratory, however. Jake Fischer,, "How the 76ers' T.J. McConnell Morphed from Undrafted to Invaluable," 5 Mar. 2018 Old shoes and organic bits are placed on the floor to give the impression that the space is some kind of laboratory, which was hastily abandoned and has been left to begin to decay. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Find Inspiration at These 5 Must-See Exhibits Currently at L.A. Museums," 23 Feb. 2018 Further results from the laboratory were not released. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Colorado dad's lawyer seeks DNA samples from daughters' bodies, but judge rejects forensics expert: report," 18 Aug. 2018 The fear is that if this dance isn’t executed correctly, polio could accidentally escape from a laboratory or be released from a vaccine manufacturing plant. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Polio eradication initiative meets resistance to appeals to destroy samples," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laboratory.' 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 laboratory

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for laboratory

Medieval Latin laboratorium, from Latin laborare to labor, from labor

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Statistics for laboratory

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for laboratory

The first known use of laboratory was in 1592

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English Language Learners Definition of laboratory

: a room or building with special equipment for doing scientific experiments and tests


lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry | \ ˈla-brə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce laboratory (audio) , ˈla-bə-rə-\
plural laboratories

Kids Definition of laboratory

: a room or building in which scientific experiments and tests are done


noun, often attributive
lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry | \ ˈlab-(ə-)rə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr-, British usually lə-ˈbär-ə-t(ə-)rē\
plural laboratories

Medical Definition of laboratory

: a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis

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More from Merriam-Webster on laboratory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with laboratory

Spanish Central: Translation of laboratory

Nglish: Translation of laboratory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laboratory for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about laboratory

Comments on laboratory

What made you want to look up laboratory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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