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 For $129, you'll be observed collecting your test sample by a medical professional via virtual visit, with results expected in 48 hours on average. Melissa Yeager, The Arizona Republic, "4 airlines have COVID testing for Hawaii travel: How and where to get one, what it costs," 2 Oct. 2020 Her sample and hundreds of others will be shipped to an outside lab, the Broad Institute in Massachusetts. Chris Quintana, USA Today, "Colleges are exploding with COVID and have lax testing. One school is keeping cases down.," 1 Oct. 2020 Laboratories in Sweden and France have confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has taken its own sample for testing, according to the German government. Raymond Colitt, Bloomberg.com, "Merkel Visited Poisoned Russian Opposition Leader in Clinic," 28 Sep. 2020 The airline recommends that travelers buy the test at least 10 days ahead of their trip and collect their sample within 72 hours of departure time, then send test results by overnight mail or an SFO dropbox. Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, "Hawaiian Airlines will offer COVID tests to passengers from L.A.," 25 Sep. 2020 This was especially true when pollsters narrowed their sample to likely voters. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "There Are No Excuses Left for Leaving Climate Change Out of the Debates," 24 Sep. 2020 Travelers will collect their own sample 72 hours before their departure and return the test via overnight mail or to a drop box at the airport. Washington Post, "United to be first U.S. airline to offer covid-19 tests for passengers," 24 Sep. 2020 Each individual GameStop location in our sample received anywhere from 15 to 30 PS5 units total, with 20 being the most common number. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "PS5 retailers have many fewer Digital Edition systems for preorder [Updated]," 18 Sep. 2020 The person’s sample is mixed with a small amount of liquid, which is applied to one end of the strip and then flows, via good old capillary action, toward the other end. Tien Nguyen, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Are Racing to Develop Paper-Based Tests for Covid-19," 25 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 1993 Hot 100-topper’s thumping beat and Emotions sample, combined with Carey's effortless vocals, add a layer of nostalgia that fittingly generates a daydream for a simpler time to come and take us away. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Greatest Mariah Carey Songs: Staff Picks," 5 Oct. 2020 Dogs, on the other hand, sample the whole tree with a sniff and pick up the scent of huanglongbing within a few weeks of infection and with remarkable accuracy. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Tree-Killing Epidemics Are on the Rise," 28 Sep. 2020 Attendees will be able to sample select wines while enjoying live music, local art and shopping. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Wine, culinary demonstrations and music on tap for Willow Bend wine walk," 29 Sep. 2020 California had a wealth of genetic material from suspects to sample from, much of it based on rape kits. Robert Kolker, New York Times, "The Gilgo Beach Murders Were a Cold Case. Then a New Police Chief Arrived.," 25 Sep. 2020 During past visits, gathering with my brothers in my mother’s basement to sample and critique craft beers became a hallowed tradition. Steve Bender, Southern Living, "Plant A New Life," 21 Sep. 2020 Analysts said the bundling will help entice customers to sample more services and reduce the rate at which people unsubscribe. Wendy Lee, Star Tribune, "Apple hopes to find new customers by bundling subscription services," 18 Sep. 2020 The event attracts about 1,400 people each year who sample 250 different beers and 50 wines to raise money for the Forest Park Aquatic Center, a former park district pool now run by a local non-profit. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, "Noblesville Brewfest and Wine Garden canceled due to COVID-19 concerns," 31 July 2020 Cove and Thoemmes hope to sample woodrat nests across more species in search of antibiotics. Stephenie Livingston, Science | AAAS, "Florida woodrat nests are laced with antibiotic-producing bacteria," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Even university researchers have been taking an interest in the matter — consider this Cornell University project to re-sample photos of renowned landmarks into 4-D glory. Payal Dhar, Washington Post, "Can gaming satisfy our pandemic thirst for travel and adventure?," 3 Sep. 2020 His growing children dabble in journalism and sample European culture. Sara Georgini, Smithsonian Magazine, "The American Scion Who Secured British Neutrality in the U.S. Civil War," 16 Jan. 2020 Verizon's Young went on to add: Sites such as Downdetector.com utilize limited crowdsourced data drawn from sample social posts which are often statistically insignificant or factually incorrect. Josh Rivera, USA TODAY, "Issues with T-Mobile, Verizon or AT&T today? It may just be T-Mobile.," 15 June 2020 Shi is planning a national project to systematically sample viruses in bat caves—with much greater scope and intensity than her team’s previous attempts. Jane Qiu, Scientific American, "How China’s “Bat Woman” Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus," 11 Mar. 2020 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

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

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sample.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sample. Accessed 25 Oct. 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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Comments on sample

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