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 Williams is still working rookie Ty Jerome into the mix There's clearly still trial and error, but Williams also played Tyler Johnson for a minute. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets bury Phoenix Suns with late push," 7 Dec. 2019 Some of it was trial and error, some of it was experimentation, and some of it was seeing what worked consistently live. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Prince guitarist talks '1999' re-release, favorite memories of late icon: 'He was a joker'," 29 Nov. 2019 There’s been a lot of YouTube videos and trial and error in his history. Chuck Blount,, "Cured, salted duck egg yolks from near Seguin the new foodie fad you need to try," 9 Dec. 2019 To create the Jaguar sound, Devine went through a process of trial and error, creating two different sounds for two sets of speakers on the vehicle’s exterior and interior. Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, "The Sound of Silence: Why Automakers Are Changing the Noise That Electric Vehicles (Don’t) Make," 8 Dec. 2019 Figuring out the balance of how many people could visit the forest, and for how long, was a delicate process of trial and error, Weber says. Washington Post, "Intense monitoring and care lift mountain gorilla numbers," 3 Dec. 2019 After considerable trial and error, Watridge came up with the perfect proportion of ingredients — and the right brands to use, too. Daniel Neman,, "Signature cocktails make a party more fun," 2 Dec. 2019 Bedor, 36, has been educated through similar trial and error. Trevor Fraser,, "Holiday sales a big deal for small businesses in Orlando," 27 Nov. 2019 At first, things moved slowly, through tedious trial and error. Mallik Thatipalli, Quartz India, "Children once learned ethics and life lessons from board games—then PUBG came along," 13 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for trial and error

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The first known use of trial and error was in 1806

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Statistics for trial and error

Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trial and error.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Comments on trial and error

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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