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 After finally killing Merrick and his forces in the laboratory, the immortals banish Booker for 100 years to pay the price for nearly betraying them. Ashley Chervinski,, "The End Of The Old Guard Practically Promises A Sequel — Will Netflix Give Us One?," 13 July 2020 The release explains that laboratory testing shows both surface disinfectant products effectively kill the pathogen SARS-CoV-2. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Two Lysol Products Effectively Kill the Coronavirus From Surfaces, the EPA Says," 7 July 2020 Potential benefits include stretching laboratory supplies, reducing costs and expanding testing to millions more Americans. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 30 to July 1," 3 July 2020 In the laboratory, physicists can measure the opacities of different elements by subjecting them to the torrid temperatures that prevail inside the sun. Ken Croswell, Scientific American, "An Elemental Problem with the Sun," 1 July 2020 One problem is that attempts to produce the vaccine on cell lines in a laboratory have failed. Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, "The Rabbit Outbreak," 29 June 2020 The royal was given a tour Wednesday of the manufacturing laboratory where the experimental vaccine has been produced, helping to cheer on British efforts to get a handle on coping with the killer virus. USA TODAY, "Prince William dons mask, eye protection to check out COVID-19 vaccine work at Oxford University," 25 June 2020 The center credits the country’s model health care system and its investments in health security, including infectious-disease reporting, epidemiological training, and laboratory testing. National Geographic, "On the hunt for the next deadly virus," 16 June 2020 The laboratory's Kentucky tests show significant increases in three: Non-prescribed fentanyl: 32%. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, "Ohio, Kentucky patient drug-test results surge as 'collateral damage' from pandemic," 9 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for laboratory

Time Traveler

The first known use of laboratory was in 1592

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Statistics for laboratory

Last Updated

27 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Laboratory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for laboratory


How to pronounce laboratory (audio) How to pronounce laboratory (audio)

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

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