sample

noun
sam·ple | \ˈsam-pəl \

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 \

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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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 largest jurisdiction in the sample, unincorporated Miami-Dade County, showed the lowest, but still positive, correlation. Richard Florida, WIRED, "Climate Change Will Force the Poor From Their Homes," 13 July 2018 No asbestos was found in any of the talc samples, the agency said. NBC News, "Johnson & Johnson told to pay $4.7 billion in baby powder case," 13 July 2018 This is just a small sample, by the way, of what are hundreds of anti-Trump texts. Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Gaetz, Gowdy, Jordan react to heated Strzok hearing," 13 July 2018 These samples, which test from one to 50 mosquitoes at a time, were collected from Elk Grove and Sacramento parks and neighborhoods. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "Vigilance urged as Sacramento region leads state in West Nile virus activity," 12 July 2018 Cooper’s blood on the shirt tested positive for a preservative used in blood samples, leading his defenders to accuse the government of tampering. latimes.com, "'They framed me': On death row for decades, Kevin Cooper pushes for new DNA tests in Chino Hills murders," 8 July 2018 Brazeau and another relative provided DNA samples, and in December the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency positively identified Canty. David Owens, courant.com, "74 Years Later, Connecticut Airman Shot Down Over France In WW II To Get Proper Burial," 7 July 2018 Biologist John Cassani has been collecting samples, and warning about the health hazards. Manuel Bojorquez, CBS News, "Toxic algae a slimy mess for Florida's Lake Okeechobee," 6 July 2018 The detector, from T2 Biosystems, of Lexington, Mass., finds and identifies the extremely rare bacterial cells in blood samples, rather than having to culture bacteria in a lab dish, which can take days. Karen Weintraub, STAT, "Sepsis is the third leading cause of death. Can a new blood test change that?," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Our selections were then judged by acclaimed San Antonio chefs Stefan Bowers (Battalion, Rebelle, Feast) and Jeff White (Tucker’s Kozy Korner, Eastside Kitchenette), who sampled and sorted out the winners and the losers. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "Critics’ pick their favorite fast food in San Antonio," 18 June 2018 Come and sample all of the goodies and find new businesses to visit. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Taste of Dayton slated for Thursday, June 14," 12 June 2018 Rhynhart said her office sampled some of those tax accounts and found no wrongdoing. Claudia Vargas, Philly.com, "Sloppy city bookkeeping ripe for abuse, Philly Controller says in audit," 12 June 2018 Maguire said once the EPA has an access agreement with a property owner, the agency can sample the soil and discover the extent of lead contamination. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "EPA: Lead study and cleanup in Whiting, Hammond 'still a work in progress'," 24 May 2018 The hope is to run 100 more expeditions over the next decade, by which time Colombia’s forests, swamps and mountains will have been comprehensively sampled and recorded. The Economist, "Colombia’s national survey of its biodiversity is ambitious," 17 May 2018 In addition to sampling a variety of beers (and voting on their favorites), attendees have the chance to chat with brewers about their process and products. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this week: Cantina Crawl 2018, Chicago Beer Classic," 4 May 2018 Muñoz and his colleagues have attempted to extend this record back to roughly 1500 by sampling bottom sediments from three oxbow lakes in Mississippi and Louisiana. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Taming the Mighty Mississippi May Have Caused Bigger Floods," 10 Apr. 2018 His sounds have been sampled by essential beat producers including J Dilla, Flying Lotus, El-P, Madlib, Pete Rock and Danny Brown. Randall Roberts, latimes.com, "Raymond Scott, the musical genius you probably don't know, is getting his own L.A. festival," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Sample food from Philly’s vegan restaurants and enjoy beer, spirits, and live music. Staff Reports, Philly.com, "Trike racing, Peach Music Fest, and more to to do in and around Philadelphia," 9 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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Dictionary Entries near sample

sampaloc

sampan

samphire

sample

sampleite

sampleman

sample post

Statistics for sample

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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)

: 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 \

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 \

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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Comments on sample

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