trial

1 of 3

noun

tri·​al ˈtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce trial (audio)
1
: the formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue
2
a
: the action or process of trying or putting to the proof : test
b
: a preliminary contest (as in a sport)
3
a
: a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness compare clinical trial
b
: one of a number of repetitions of an experiment
4
: a test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation
broadly : a source of vexation or annoyance
5

trial

2 of 3

adjective

1
: of, relating to, or used in a trial
2
: made or done as a test or experiment
3
: used or tried out in a test or experiment

trial

3 of 3

verb

trialed or trialled; trialing or trialling; trials

transitive verb

: to test the functioning, value, or usefulness of (something)
In 2014, Germany trialed a copyright law granting publishers licensing fees for quoted content.Kim Willsher
So a raft of demonstration projects around the world have trialled "smart grids" that deal with electricity flowing in two directions—accommodating individuals selling power back to the utility company operation …Caroline Williams

Examples of trial in a Sentence

Noun He did not get a fair trial. He testified at the trial. She is awaiting trial on charges of assault. Early trials have shown that the treatment has some serious side effects. Recovering from her injury was a real trial of strength. I know I was a bit of a trial to my parents when I was a teenager. Cold winters can be a trial for older people. Adjective trial use of the product If you choose to use the software beyond the 30-day free trial period, you are required to pay for it.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Her defense attorney, Johnny McCrary Jr., urged the judge to impose a probationary sentence with restitution like the punishment given to more than a dozen other BSO deputies who pleaded guilty rather than go to trial. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 5 June 2024 Hunter Biden’s words come back to haunt him as trial on gun charges begins. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2024
Adjective
That trial may be pushed back for pre-trial appeals by Trump. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 18 Jan. 2024 Prosecutors described his reaching out to potential witnesses in his upcoming trial as witness tampering, and said his use of a VPN to watch football violated pre-trial agreements. Byleo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 26 Sep. 2023
Verb
While addressing the Alaska House and Senate transportation committees on March 19th, robot handler Ryan Marlow said the agency opted to trial Aurora after plans to spray repellents like grape juice from flying drones were judged too risky. Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 2 Apr. 2024 Faced with a lack of funds to pay for essential tourist facilities such as new parking areas and additional waste management resources, Lofoten officials have been given the green light to trial a tourist tax. David Nikel, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for trial 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Anglo-French, from trier to try

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Adjective

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trial was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near trial

Cite this Entry

“Trial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trial. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

trial

1 of 2 noun
tri·​al ˈtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce trial (audio)
1
: the action or process of testing or trying
2
: the hearing and judgment of a case in court
3
: a test of faith, patience, or strength
4
: an experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness
5

trial

2 of 2 adjective
1
: of, relating to, or used in a trial
2
: made or done as a test or experiment
a trial run

Medical Definition

trial

noun
tri·​al ˈtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce trial (audio)
1
: a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness see clinical trial
2
: one of a number of repetitions of an experiment

Legal Definition

trial

noun
tri·​al
: a judicial examination of issues of fact or law disputed by parties for the purpose of determining the rights of the parties compare hearing, inquest
Etymology

Noun

Anglo-French, from trier to try

More from Merriam-Webster on trial

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