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

There are other initiatives up for the vote this November too, so check your sample ballot and do some digging to see who’s behind what in your state. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Environmental Measures on the 2018 Midterm Election Ballots You Should Know About," 18 Oct. 2018 Each kit sells for $16, which means each sample-size product is $4 each. Leah Prinzivalli, Teen Vogue, "Sephora Has Reportedly Started Selling Mystery Bags of Makeup Products," 26 Sep. 2018 Each kit comes with four sample-size products and one lapel pin of the iconic Sephora black and white shopping bag. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Sephora Is Offering Mystery Makeup Kits Full of Beauty Surprises," 26 Sep. 2018 Ford will issue a total of 75 exoskeletons to employees, which is a teeny, tiny sample size to Ford’s massive employee population. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Wearing Exoskeletons Will Work in Ford Plants," 18 Aug. 2018 The campaign then pays Karen Waters and other firms to produce, print and mail the sample ballots. Fox News, "Maxine Waters hit with FEC complaint over mailer money," 1 Aug. 2018 To view sample ballots, see the following link: http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/registration-elections-cd/7887-sample-ballots. Arielle Kass, ajc, "Where to vote early in Fulton County ahead of July 24 runoff election," 4 July 2018 Somaraju took the voting guide with her, and filled out a sample ballot, before walking to the voting booth. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "A civic journey: From immigrant to citizen to voter," 2 July 2018 Election officials suggest voters read over sample ballots that are available online at the Tarrant County elections website (access.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections.html) before heading to the polls. Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "Time to head back to the polls to settle some Tarrant races," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In addition to this rover landing attempt, the spacecraft will also try to sample the asteroid and bring some of the material back to Earth. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Two Japanese robots are now happily hopping on an asteroid [Updated]," 22 Sep. 2018 Barbara Lynn recorded an enduring R&B hit that crossed onto the pop charts, had a song covered by one of rock 'n' roll's enduring giants and another sampled by a hip-hop icon. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Empress of Gulf Coast Soul Barbara Lynn receives NEA honor," 20 June 2018 Those who choose to compete have their dishes sampled by an intrepid group of judges, who go on a week-long, citywide tasting and photo-taking journey to the chefs' kitchens. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Going to a NOWFE's grand tasting? The winning dishes are....," 22 May 2018 Bornholm’s produce is best sampled during June’s Sol Over Gudhjem or Sun Over God’s Home festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Places to Travel in June," 9 May 2018 Thomas has worked with the likes of Rick Ross, Kodak Black and has had his work sampled by both Drake and DJ Khaled. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, Sun-Sentinel.com, "UM's Chad Thomas becomes first Hurricane drafted, going to Cleveland in third round," 28 Apr. 2018 To take that idea and flip it, crafting an R&B record where the melodies are sampled, recalls how the actual Pablo Picasso treated the work of the old masters. refinery29.com, "Album Review: Teyana Taylor Breaks All The Rules On K.T.S.E.," 25 June 2018 Since the ban applies to e-cigarettes even in vape shops, users can no longer sample their products before purchasing them. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ban on e-cigarettes in Milwaukee takes effect -- what you need to know," 10 July 2018 Grgich's bottle and beret are now in the Smithsonian, and this year, visitors at the winery can sample a 40th-anniversary offering crafted to resemble the vintage that put Napa Valley wines on the world stage. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "T&C Travel Guide: Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California," 9 July 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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Dictionary Entries near sample

sampaloc

sampan

samphire

sample

sampleite

sampleman

sample post

Statistics for sample

Last Updated

6 Dec 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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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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