trial

noun
tri·​al | \ ˈtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce trial (audio) \

Definition of trial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
2a : the action or process of trying or putting to the proof : test
b : a preliminary contest (as in a sport)
3a : 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 : attempt

trial

adjective

Definition of trial (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for trial

Synonyms: Noun

cross, crucible, fire, gauntlet (also gantlet), ordeal

Synonyms: Adjective

developmental, experimental, pilot

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The film shows a relationship filled with lies, deceit, and incredibly uncomfortable moments— one of them being Bundy's courtroom proposal during his own trial. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "Did Ted Bundy Propose In the Courtroom In Real Life?," 10 May 2019 Everyone needs to do a little trial-and-error to find a sunscreen that works for them and their particular skin type and lifestyle. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How to Pick the Best Sunscreen for Your Lovely Face," 10 May 2019 On top of all that, new users of YouTube Music Premium can get a 3-month free trial. Alaina Yee, PCWorld, "The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are already priced to move, but here's how to get them even cheaper," 8 May 2019 Her father, the late Robert Kardashian, was an attorney and was on O.J. Simpson's defense team for his infamous 1995 murder trial. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Is Studying for the California State Bar," 16 Apr. 2019 Craig, who served as President Barack Obama’s first White House counsel and previously defended President Bill Clinton during his Senate trial, denies those allegations. Chad Day, The Seattle Times, "Lobbyist gets probation in case spun off from Russia probe," 13 Apr. 2019 Manning, who’s now 31, spent a substantial amount of time in solitary confinement before her trial, in addition to years in prison afterwards. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Chelsea Manning Has Been Imprisoned for Resisting a Grand Jury Investigation. Here’s Why She Should Be Freed," 11 Mar. 2019 Try a discounted trial period for a meal-kit delivery service or find a cooking class on Groupon for you and a friend. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Small but Impactful Health Habits to Lock Down in Your 20s," 19 Apr. 2019 These trial periods usually last a weekend or maybe a week, certainly not an entire month. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's battle royale mode Blackout is free to play throughout April," 2 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The trial scene implodes, first as the clans squabble among themselves, and then as an unexplained fire breaks out and engulfs the room. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening," 21 Mar. 2019 His legal team has cited frigid cell temperature, lack of clean blankets, isolation from other inmates—and the fact that his only reading materials are trial evidence. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Trial of ‘El Chapo’ Poses Unprecedented Challenges," 12 Nov. 2018 People lined up in front of the downtown Orlando courthouse to get tickets for the courtroom where her mother, Casey, stood trial three years later — and was acquitted of murder. Red Huber, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Casey Anthony saga 10 years later — A look back through iconic pictures," 22 June 2018 But the bill would essentially skirt the FDA’s normal approval process to get trial medicines more rapidly to patients with life-threatening illnesses. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "House Approves Giving Terminally Ill Quicker Access to Experimental Drugs," 22 May 2018 Only 50 of those trial color scheme hoodies were produced and sold in 23 regional shops. Avalon R. Zoppo, Philly.com, "10 years after Rowan student's brutal killing, $100K reward remains unclaimed," 30 Oct. 2017 Trial 5 (Epilogue) The Funk Situation: Standard build-up from a couple weeks of coffee/water use. Maggie Lange, Bon Appetit, "How to Get the Coffee Taste Out of Your Water Bottle," 29 Aug. 2017 Trial lawyer Jen Jordan has already announced her candidacy. Greg Bluestein, ajc, "Georgia GOP’s ex-minority engagement guru seeks state Senate gig," 17 Aug. 2017 A trial court decision that Microsoft should be broken up was overturned on appeal (though not the court’s finding of monopoly), and ultimately the case was settled by the George W. Bush administration. Paula Dwyer, Bloomberg.com, "Should America’s Tech Giants Be Broken Up?," 20 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trial.' 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 trial

Noun

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

Adjective

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for trial

Noun

Anglo-French, from trier to try

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Statistics for trial

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trial

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

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More Definitions for trial

trial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a formal meeting in a court in which evidence about crimes, disagreements, etc., is presented to a judge and often a jury so that decisions can be made according to the law
: a test of the quality, value, or usefulness of something
: a test of someone's ability to do something that is used to see if he or she should join a team, perform in a play, etc.

trial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of trial (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to or used in a test that is done for a period of time to see if something is worth buying, using, etc.

trial

noun
tri·​al | \ ˈtrī-əl How to pronounce trial (audio) \

Kids Definition of trial

1 : the hearing and judgment of something in court
2 : a test of someone's ability to do or endure something
3 : an experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness
4 : the action or process of trying or testing

trial

noun
tri·​al | \ ˈtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce trial (audio) \

Medical Definition of trial

1 : a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness — see clinical trial
2 : one of a number of repetitions of an experiment

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trial

noun
tri·​al

Legal Definition of trial

: 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
at trial
: in or during the course of a trial

History and Etymology for trial

Anglo-French, from trier to try

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More from Merriam-Webster on trial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trial

Spanish Central: Translation of trial

Nglish: Translation of trial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about trial

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