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-
plural laboratories
often attributive
: 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
: a place like a laboratory for testing, experimentation, or practice
That area is a laboratory for cultivating the germ of terrorism.
: 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 By 1974, he was promoted to head of the laboratory’s electronic warfare systems branch, leading research in areas including advanced miniature antenna and receiver programs, intelligence collection and processing systems, and high-speed signal sorting. IEEE Spectrum, 21 Nov. 2023 Patients must have their stem cells extracted from their bone marrow so their genes can be edited in a laboratory. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 16 Nov. 2023 In retrospect, going for a second field trip to the infectious-disease laboratory was maybe not the best idea. Claire Friedman, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 Evidence goes to a crime laboratory where it can be examined for fingerprints and DNA. Disturbingly, some of the most notorious arsonists have been firefighters and fire investigators. John Riha, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2023 In previous laboratory studies, zoliflodacin proved effective at neutralizing gonorrhea strains that were highly resistant to ceftriaxone and azithromycin and strains that had resistance to other antibiotics as well. Benjamin Ryan, NBC News, 3 Nov. 2023 Rebecca Crumpler initially viewed heading south as a way to expand her clinical skills, sort of an open-air laboratory, a place to study family health. Dominique Janee, Scientific American, 2 Nov. 2023 As of now, this kind of relationship has only been observed in a laboratory setting. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 9 Nov. 2023 Abdullah Abu Nada was working in his laboratory at Gaza City’s biggest hospital last month when his friend came in with chilling news: The house where his wife and four children were sheltering had been hit by an Israeli airstrike. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, 4 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of laboratory was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near laboratory

Cite this Entry

“Laboratory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry ˈlab-(ə-)rə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce laboratory (audio) -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce laboratory (audio)
plural laboratories
: a place equipped for making scientific experiments and tests

Medical Definition


ˈlab-(ə-)rə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr-, British usually lə-ˈbär-ə-t(ə-)rē
plural laboratories
often attributive
: a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis

More from Merriam-Webster on laboratory

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