sample

noun
sam·​ple | \ ˈsam-pəl How to pronounce sample (audio) \

Definition of sample

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a representative part or a single item from a larger whole or group especially when presented for inspection or shown as evidence of quality : specimen
2 : a finite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole
3 : an excerpt from a recording (such as a popular song by another performer) that is used in a musical composition, recording, or performance … had to substantially rewrite "Sometimes I Miss You … " when he was denied permission to use a Michael Jackson sample— Jon Young

sample

verb
sampled; sampling\ ˈsam-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce sampling (audio) \

Definition of sample (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to take a sample of or from especially : to judge the quality of by a sample : test sampled his output for defects sample a wine
2 : to use a segment of (recorded music, sounds, or dialogue from another source) as part of one's own musical composition or recording A Josh Wink record takes a series of sampled noises, then twists and warps them through a barrage of sound processors …— Frank Broughton : to use a sample (see sample entry 1 sense 3) from (another recording or performer) … claims Carey sampled his hit "I Want to Thank You" on her 1992 song "Make It Happen."— Jancee Dunn

sample

adjective

Definition of sample (Entry 3 of 3)

: serving as an illustration or example sample questions

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Synonyms for sample

Synonyms: Noun

cross section, sampler, sampling, selection, slice

Synonyms: Verb

test, try (out)

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Choose the Right Synonym for sample

Noun

instance, case, illustration, example, sample, specimen mean something that exhibits distinguishing characteristics in its category. instance applies to any individual person, act, or thing that may be offered to illustrate or explain. an instance of history repeating itself case is used to direct attention to a real or assumed occurrence or situation that is to be considered, studied, or dealt with. a case of mistaken identity illustration applies to an instance offered as a means of clarifying or illuminating a general statement. a telling illustration of Murphy's Law example applies to a typical, representative, or illustrative instance or case. a typical example of bureaucratic waste sample implies a part or unit taken at random from a larger whole and so presumed to be typical of its qualities. show us a sample of your work specimen applies to any example or sample whether representative or merely existent and available. one of the finest specimens of the jeweler's art

Examples of sample in a Sentence

Noun

We would like to see a sample of your work. I tasted a sample of the new cereal. Free samples were handed out at the store. The sample included 96 women over the age of 40. A random sample of people filled out the survey. We looked at a representative sample of public schools.

Verb

She sampled everything the resort had to offer, from golfing to yoga. A low percentage of the women sampled said that they smoked during pregnancy. Five of the 20 schools sampled did not meet the standards.

Adjective

The teacher handed out a sample essay. Here are some sample questions for the test.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The only research linking vinegar to weight loss used a tiny sample size and poor controls. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, According to a Nutritionist," 21 Nov. 2018 Since anthologies contain multiple stories, reading one is like trying bite-sized samples of different kinds of erotica. Jenni Miller, SELF, "7 Ways to Find Truly Sexy Erotica, According to Someone Who Reads Tons of It," 22 Feb. 2019 Scientists found samples of superbugs hanging out in Svalbard, Norway, one of the most remote regions of the world. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Found 'Superbugs' in Remote Arctic Wilderness," 29 Jan. 2019 The festival reaches its mid-week peak with the Kitchen Party, a deliciously frenzied evening when all of the chefs (and their teams) occupy a station of Badrutt's Palace's main kitchen to create samples of a signature dish. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "What to Do in St. Moritz During January," 7 Jan. 2019 The team tested their algorithm against samples from eight outbreaks that public health investigators had traced back to their animal sources. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Machine learning could help figure out what pooped on your produce," 12 Dec. 2018 Giving a glimpse into how his designs ended up being worn by Meghan, Grant said the Duchess’s stylist requested samples from his Paris showroom earlier this month. Prue Lewington, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Happens When You Suddenly Become Meghan Markle's Favorite Designer," 19 Oct. 2018 Bringing pristine samples of asteroid material back to Earth will allow researchers to tackle such questions efficiently and effectively, team members from both missions have said. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Landing Site on Asteroid Ryugu Chosen for Japan's Hayabusa2 Mission," 23 Aug. 2018 Starting in 2015, Dussutour and her team obtained samples of slime molds from colleagues at Hakodate University in Japan and tested their ability to habituate. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Slime Molds Remember—But Do They Learn?," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

SUBSCRIBE TODAY Florida State University researcher Victoria Beckwith samples sand at key locations on Gulf Coast beaches where loggerhead turtles nest for signs of microplastics. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Florida sea turtles face a new threat from microplastics: hotter sand | Miami Herald," 2 May 2018 Zuvele, on the shore of the lagoon in Juodkrantė, is one of the best places to sample zuvis, or smoked fish, facebook.com/zuvele. Henry Wismayer, WSJ, "An Unmissable Summer Holiday in the Baltics," 22 Aug. 2018 Every spring and fall, as major cruise lines reposition their vessels from the Caribbean and elsewhere to Alaska for the summer, residents of the West Coast and beyond get the chance to sample short cruises at bargain prices. Alex Pulaski, latimes.com, "Seeking a short cruise that's a bargain to boot? Check out repositioning trips, available as lines shift their ships to other ports," 20 June 2018 And for those of us who were tragically snubbed from the invite list, there’s still the opportunity to sample a knockoff version of the cake as recipes for the soon-to-be iconic royal treat begin to abound online. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Why This Year’s Royal Wedding Cake Won’t Be a Disgusting Fruitcake," 17 May 2018 On May 18 through 20, there will be an opportunity to sample an ethnic feast without having to cross the ocean --the semi-annual St. Athanasios Greek Fest. Judy Buchenot, chicagotribune.com, "Suburban Cooks: Greek fest revives traditional dishes," 4 May 2018 The CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual wellness initiative, Do a 180, MOVE! which allows participants the chance to sample several local fitness classes, gyms, clinics, yoga, and more. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Chamber Wellness Program Set To Launch," 10 Apr. 2018 The 8th annual Indulgence – which offers attendees an opportunity to sample a variety of alcoholic drinks and sweets – took place on Jan. 27. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Do you have what it takes? Winners of metro Detroit food events could win $100,000," 21 Mar. 2018 Tickets to the event cost $25 for food only or $40 for food and beer, and all tickets come with the opportunity to sample one highlighted menu item from all 30 MLB parks. Ted Berg, USA TODAY, "All 30 foods at MLB's new 'FoodFest,' ranked," 13 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Participants sample five wines from prestigious appellations while nibbling small bites. Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Food Tours in Paris," 3 Mar. 2018 Guests sample 5 rare sour & funky beers from Rhinegeist cellars, including newest sour ale of dark descent. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do in Cincinnati this week: June 18-24," 18 June 2018 Though not sample size, Dixon is neither a waif or a plus-size bombshell. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Miu Miu’s Newest Beauty Is a Rule-Breaking Nerd From Florida," 7 Mar. 2018 Guests sample Greek food at a previous ethnic food event put on by the Aurora Historical Society. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora event to celebrate city's ethnic food traditions," 19 Apr. 2018 While in Zoar, take a tour of town, sample German-style meatloaf at the Canal Tavern or go antiquing at the Cobbler Shop Bed & Breakfast. Lauren Johnson And Jesse Sparks, Smithsonian, "The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2017," 2 May 2017 Sample headlines: What equality really means: An Asian-American take on affirmative action to ‘ Megan Schellong, USA TODAY College, "Check out these 5 student digital media orgs with campus editions," 24 Aug. 2017 Sample beers from around Ohio, live music, and food trucks. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week: Aug. 15-20," 15 Aug. 2017 Language English English Font Size Small Small Medium Large Position Auto Bottom Top Sample Caption Text Mute Current Time 0:00 Duration Time 0:00 12 Things Fashion People Literally Think (Literally) Erika Harwood, vanityfair.com, "The BoF 500 Gala Is Coming to New York Fashion Week," 10 Aug. 2017

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1767, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1820, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sample

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French sample, essample, from Latin exemplum — more at example

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Learn More about sample

Dictionary Entries near sample

sampaloc

sampan

samphire

sample

sampleite

sampleman

sample post

Statistics for sample

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sample

The first known use of sample was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sample

sample

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sample

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a small amount of something that gives you information about the thing it was taken from
: a small amount of something that is given to people to try
: a group of people or things that are taken from a larger group and studied, tested, or questioned to get information

sample

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sample (Entry 2 of 3)

: to taste a small amount of (something)
: to try or experience (something)
technical : to test, study, or question (a group of people or things taken from a larger group) to get information

sample

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sample (Entry 3 of 3)

: used as an example of something

sample

noun
sam·​ple | \ ˈsam-pəl How to pronounce sample (audio) \

Kids Definition of sample

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part or piece that shows the quality or character of the whole A water sample was taken to test for purity.
2 : a small amount of something that is given to people to try

sample

verb
sampled; sampling

Kids Definition of sample (Entry 2 of 2)

: to judge the quality or character of by trying or examining a small part or amount We sampled the store's cheese.

sample

noun
sam·​ple | \ ˈsam-pəl How to pronounce sample (audio) \

Medical Definition of sample

1 : a representative part or a single item from a larger whole or group especially when presented for inspection or shown as evidence of quality : specimen a blood sample
2 : a finite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole

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More from Merriam-Webster on sample

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sample

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sample

Spanish Central: Translation of sample

Nglish: Translation of sample for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sample for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sample

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