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

Of the 210 medicines approved for market by the FDA between 2010 and 2016, every one originated in research conducted in government laboratories or in university labs funded in large part by the National Institutes of Health. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Big Pharma Was Captured by the One Percent," 28 June 2018 Members of Congress, including several Republican senators with Energy Department laboratories in their states, have pushed back against the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts, which would have imperiled local, high-paying research jobs. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: White House seeking more clean energy cuts despite congressional opposition," 27 June 2018 The pair worked closely with the laboratory’s particle physicists to translate raw data from the LHC into an aural and visual experience. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘HALO’ Makes Art Out of Subatomic Particle Collisions at Art Basel," 15 June 2018 The current state of the art for brain mapping is embodied by the Allen Brain Atlas, which was compiled from work in many laboratories over several years at a cost upward of $25 million. Monique Brouillette, WIRED, "New Brain Maps With Unmatched Detail May Change Neuroscience," 8 Apr. 2018 Business growth continues in Tomball with a new $22 million laboratory is under construction at the Tomball Business & Technology Park. Tamra Santana, Houston Chronicle, "Business development continues in Tomball as tech park expands," 7 Apr. 2018 Without any debt, fundraising can now be used to fill out the rest of the 120,000-square-foot Belvidere Road big box — since only about half of it is being used — with more laboratories, a gymnasium, classroom and chapel. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Students say renovated big-box store feels 'like a real high school' on opening day," 13 Feb. 2018 In 1978, the Soviet Union launched two cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule for a rendezvous with the Salyut 6 space laboratory. Staff,, "Comment here on court and crime stories for Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018," 10 Jan. 2018 The greatest gender gap was found in the laboratories of the 22 male Nobel prizewinners, where male postdoctorates outnumber women three to one. Roger Highfield, Newsweek, "The Maths Behind the Simpsons' Women," 13 Sep. 2014

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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Last Updated

18 Mar 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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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