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

The agent starts playing the game random, but learns to improve its strategy through trial and error. James Vincent, The Verge, "How teaching AI to be curious helps machines learn for themselves," 1 Nov. 2018 The process of finding your favorite beauty products is a process of trial and error. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "5 Ways to Recycle Your Makeup," 26 Oct. 2018 Silva admits that finding the right shades and undertones was a lot of trial and error. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "We Put Beautyblender's New Bounce Liquid Foundation To The Test," 20 July 2018 For that, trial and error with beta testers has gone a long way. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Inside Amazon's Painstaking Pursuit to Teach Alexa French," 13 June 2018 The increasing pace of wind turbine installations reduced overall costs as manufacturers perfected their methods through trial and error in the growing industry. L.m. Sixel, Houston Chronicle, "Cost to generate wind power fell by one-third in six years," 13 July 2018 The past seven years have involved a lot of trial and error in finding techniques to manage my symptoms. Meryl Davids Landau, Good Housekeeping, "3 Women Share the Moment They Knew They Had Depression — And How They Moved Forward," 12 June 2018 After considerable trial and error, my sister did end up finishing up the wax. Eve Peyser, Good Housekeeping, "I Tried to Wax My Own Bikini Line — And It Was a Disaster," 14 Jan. 2016 After 12 months of trial and error, the system, which soared back to life in the Premier League as Chelsea were crowned champions in 2017, was beginning to bear fruit for England., "90Min World Cup Fan Diaries: Starting to Believe," 8 July 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

5 Dec 2018

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The first known use of trial and error was in 1806

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to enclose within walls

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