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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Most online courses provide you with the sample files the instructor works with: use them to follow along. Harry Guinness, Popular Science, "How to learn new skills online," 13 Feb. 2020 Holmes claimed Theranos had proprietary devices that could detect disease with a drop of blood; in fact, its technicians fed diluted samples through industry-standard testing equipment. Owen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Who will write Theranos’ last chapter?," 12 Feb. 2020 The Belgian student had spent his whole PhD on a virus discovery project, sequencing bat samples like the ones Munster’s team brings back from the field. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Can a Database of Animal Viruses Help Predict the Next Pandemic?," 12 Feb. 2020 These samples will be a game-changer in understanding our next-door neighbor, scientists say. Los Angeles Times, "How NASA will bring a little bit of Mars back to Earth," 12 Feb. 2020 That means a wait of two or more days to know whether a sample shipped to South Africa or even outside the continent tests positive. NBC News, "'We're definitely not prepared': Africa braces for coronavirus," 11 Feb. 2020 It was developed by Michael Girard and Robert Lurye in 1996 as a sample source file for the 3D animation software package Character Studio (used in conjunction with 3D Studio Max). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "’90s nostalgia: Dancing Baby does the cha-cha once more in new HD rendering," 11 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, there will be lots of pressure on young outfielder Alex Verdugo, who comes to the Hub with a small major league sample and ample baggage. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, "Mookie Betts trade is an awkward start to spring training and to Chaim Bloom’s tenure," 11 Feb. 2020 During the festival, customers can enjoy workshops and activities all dedicated to getting a better night's sleep, as well as samples of Swedish foods (please have meatballs!). Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "The 'IKEA Swede Dreams Sleepover' Gives Shoppers the Chance to Win an in-Store Sleepover," 11 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Apple stores are usually a communal place for customers to gather, touch the same electronic devices and sample them before deciding on purchases. Shannon Liao, CNN, "Apple temporarily closes all 42 stores in China as coronavirus spreads," 1 Feb. 2020 PAX East, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, is a chance to sample new and not-yet-released video games from studios large and small. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 24 Dec. 2019 Twenty-seven businesses in downtown Barrington were part of the annual wine walk Saturday, giving the more than 300 participants a chance to sample both wine and wares. Kulsoom Khan, chicagotribune.com, "Wine samples ease walk around Barrington businesses," 14 Oct. 2019 Plenty of folks jumped at the chance to sample the insect in fritters, cookies, smoothies, tostadas and soup on Friday at the Fair. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Crikey! They were eating crickets at the State Fair!," 23 Aug. 2019 Having barbecue on site will offer visitors a chance to sample Southern flavor. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al.com, "North Alabama barbecue restaurant opening at Stovehouse," 23 July 2019 On Friday, Sip & Savor -- the opportunity to sample foods from area restaurants -- was available for an additional charge. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland.com, "Uncorked Medina Wine Festival raises funds for Medina County Parks," 21 July 2019 The promotions offer a chance to sample new places or rediscover old favorites at tempting prices. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "Dine Downtown deals return to San Jose from July 19-28," 8 July 2019 Indianapolis residents can enjoy free admission to pools, weight rooms and parks throughout the day, giving residents a chance to sample the amenities Indy Parks have to offer. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to find free family fun in Indianapolis during Pack the Parks," 24 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Other events throughout the day include sample German lessons, fairy tale movie screenings and a dance party to close the night. Washington Post, "13 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 4 Nov. 2019 This is the second time each pitcher is facing the opposing team so sample sizes are too small to gauge splits. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants odds, picks and betting tips," 13 Sep. 2019 Operators can use data collected up to five years prior to drilling rather than sample water wells to establish baseline water quality. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Colorado toughened up its oil and gas rules. But how tough are they?," 11 Aug. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for sample

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sample

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sample.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sample. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sample

sample

noun
How to pronounce sample (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sample

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sample

Spanish Central: Translation of sample

Nglish: Translation of sample for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sample for Arabic Speakers

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