: 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 finite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole
: 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
sampled; sampling ˈsam-p(ə-)liŋ
: 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
: 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
: serving as an illustration or example
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
NounBaltimore artist Gigi McKendric laid a sample of her career — poems, art and grant paperwork — onto a table at Levindale Hebrew and Geriatric Center. —Dan Belson, Baltimore Sun, 3 June 2023 Galleri samples are processed on Illumina’s gene sequencing equipment, which is what raised red flags for anti-monopoly regulators. —Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2023 In late 2022 and early 2023, detectives revisited the case and found a hair sample that was never tested. —Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 31 May 2023 The tests were repeated each year and more than a third of participants also supplied urine samples so that researchers could measure dietary flavonol levels. —L'oreal Thompson Payton, Fortune Well, 31 May 2023 The 14-year-old samples may be corrupted or have deteriorated over the years. —Ashley Luthern, Journal Sentinel, 31 May 2023 Recent sample results found water quality levels were within state standards in these areas. —Vanessa Arredondo, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2023 Ultimately, with the Salmonella strain connected to the cashew brie samples, state and federal health officials identified just 20 cases across four states in the outbreak. —Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 26 May 2023 The hotel claims to be the world's first to be located within a tequila factory, inviting those who stay to explore the production of tequila (with plenty of samples) at the La Cofradia distillery. —Talia Avakian, Travel + Leisure, 25 May 2023
VerbThe sampling sites were selected randomly through what’s called an equal-area grid approach to ensure sites from around the state were tested. —Amanda Gokee, BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2023 The agency also would not be able to take enforcement action against a landowner based on sampling results, unless the results are above the state or federal standards. —Laura Schulte, Journal Sentinel, 15 May 2023 Officials also used historic sampling data to determine which properties should be tested, Robledo said. —Will Langhorne, Arkansas Online, 14 May 2023 The National Wastewater Surveillance System, which the C.D.C. established in late 2020, now includes data from more than 1,400 sampling sites, distributed across 50 states, three territories and 12 tribal communities, Amy Kirby, the program lead, said. —Emily Anthes, New York Times, 11 May 2023 Proceed with caution, because eating one single piece can quickly snowball into sampling the entire assortment. —Tori Latham, Robb Report, 10 May 2023 Every time a piece of original music is sampled or used in a mashup, commercial or movie, the artist gets paid — every time. —John Attanasio, Variety, 8 May 2023 His scholarly research and writings cover topics on polling methodology, voting behavior, and sampling techniques. —Anthony Salvanto, CBS News, 8 May 2023 All participants get a craft beer sampling every half mile, a 16 oz. —Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 7 May 2023
AdjectiveBut, again, this low value only records an increasing inequality of sub-sample size. —Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 8 June 2011 Here’s a sample Mediterranean diet meal plan for a day, which fits a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and is around the range of those flexible Mediterranean diet macros mentioned above. —Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Oct. 2022 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sample.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Words at Play
Palter, Dissemble, and Other Words for Lying
Skunk, Bayou, and Other Words with Native American Origins
You've used more than you might think
Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names, Vol. 2
When 'thingamajig' and 'thingamabob' just won't do
When Were Words First Used?
Look up any year to find out
Ask the Editors
Name That Tree!
A quiz that’s all bark, no bite.
Take the quiz
Name That Thing MegaQuiz: Vol. 5
Test your visual vocabulary!
Take the quiz
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?
Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!
Take the quiz
Spelling Bee Quiz
Can you outdo past winners of the National Spelli...
Take the quiz