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


sampled; sampling\ ˈsam-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce sample (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



Definition of sample (Entry 3 of 3)

: serving as an illustration or example sample questions

Synonyms for sample

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for sample


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 Another sample, also sold as heroin in Chicago in November, tested positive for fentanyl, multiple fentanyl precursors, and over-the-counter antihistamine. Zachary Siegel, The New Republic, 24 Nov. 2021 Lately, his work testing therapeutic drug candidates has been defined by a plate with 384 holes, each containing a live virus sample, usually SARS-CoV-2. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Here’s a sample of a few vendors who sell their products at The Rift, which stands for Repurposed and Intended for Today. cleveland, 19 Nov. 2021 From there, officials built a family tree from the sample, which narrowed the search for the suspect down to the siblings. NBC News, 4 Nov. 2021 Gaming WiFi review sample from Asus way ahead of schedule and squeezed a review in for today's Intel 12th Gen launch. Antony Leather, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Two decades later, most every rapper globally wants to be, sample, or sound Southern, and a Southern cadence or beat might be as likely to come from a rapper from Queens or Compton as one from Memphis or Atlanta. Zandria Robinson, Glamour, 2 Nov. 2021 However, the letter says, the medical examiner in the case used a different blood sample — that had no chain of custody information — to determine that Hernández Rojas had meth in his body. Kate Morrissey, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Oct. 2021 Taylor is additionally charged with refusing to provide a DNA sample, a misdemeanor. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 26 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sommelier André Mack returns to sample 16 boxed wines, giving his expert opinion on their quality, taste, and value. Mike Rose, cleveland, 10 Nov. 2021 Vigeant used to drive into Canada to eat at a pizzeria north of the border, to sample the Quebecois specialty of poutine, or to buy concord grapes, something that’s not available at supermarkets in Derby. Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 Aside from marketing concerns, Meta stores would also give the public a chance to sample everything from Oculus VR headsets, to its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, and its Portal video calling device. Adario Strange, Quartz, 8 Nov. 2021 At the ice luge, attendees can sample Vida Tequila’s timeless, top-shelf liquor. The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Nov. 2021 Visitors can sample the many varieties of vermicelli in savory broth with meat and beans and enjoy music by Da Krazy Pimpz and David Farias. Jim Kiest And Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Nov. 2021 The event itself gives students, faculty, stakeholders and the public a chance to sample the foods northwest Indiana has to offer. Carrie Napoleon,, 3 Nov. 2021 So far, astronauts have successfully grown 10 different crops on the space station since 2015 and had the chance to sample each one. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 2 Nov. 2021 Despite being an online beverage brand and even without the chance to sample beforehand, consumers often buy bundles in one go. Tiffany Lung, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Visitors will have the chance to see the temple, sample Indian meals, attend a Saturday classical dance performance and participate in other events. Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune, 7 June 2021 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, 22 Oct. 2020 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, 3 Sep. 2020 His growing children dabble in journalism and sample European culture. Sara Georgini, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Jan. 2020 Verizon's Young went on to add: Sites such as utilize limited crowdsourced data drawn from sample social posts which are often statistically insignificant or factually incorrect. Josh Rivera, USA TODAY, 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, 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, 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, 13 Sep. 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1767, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1820, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sample


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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Dictionary Entries Near sample




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Statistics for sample

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sample.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for sample



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



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



English Language Learners Definition of sample (Entry 3 of 3)

: used as an example of something


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


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.


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

More from Merriam-Webster on sample

Nglish: Translation of sample for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sample for Arabic Speakers


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