trial and error


Definition of trial and error

: a finding out of the best way to reach a desired result or a correct solution by trying out one or more ways or means and by noting and eliminating errors or causes of failure also : the trying of one thing or another until something succeeds

Examples of trial and error in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After a lot of trial and error, the AI could reproduce the words each patient was listening to with enough clarity that someone could understand it. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Translate Brain Waves Into Speech," 30 Jan. 2019 Treatment for bipolar disorder in general involves medication to help stabilize the individual’s mood, and landing on the right combination of drugs can take some amount of trial and error. Jacqueline Andriakos, SELF, "This Is What a Bipolar Manic Episode Feels Like," 7 Dec. 2018 Of course, there's been a bit of trial and error with the kits: A cupcake cone kit, launched about a year ago, was inspired by Gellar's childhood, but the organic cones often broke during shipping. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "Sarah Michelle Gellar's Second Act? Disrupting the Food Industry," 18 Apr. 2017 As Shelsky himself recently learned, making a New York bagel is a ridiculously hard blend of art and science, a feat of culinary engineering and passion that takes years of study and months of trial and error. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "This Is How You Make a Perfect New York Bagel," 28 Dec. 2018 Since an extended period of trial and error in the mid-2010s, SpaceX has had a remarkable run of success with landing its rockets on land and at sea. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "After 26 straight successes, SpaceX fails to land Falcon 9 it wanted back," 5 Dec. 2018 There was a lot of trial and error in developing cheese. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Connected to the Craft," 3 Dec. 2018 And then, so out of that came a lot of trial and error around what ultimately became Hulu. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How to make a big company more innovative," 30 Nov. 2018 Finding your pimple triggers is often a matter of personal trial and error. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "The Sneaky Way Your Laundry Can Cause Acne Breakouts," 20 Sep. 2018

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

1806, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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The first known use of trial and error was in 1806

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