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 This tool could allow an individual the ability to trial and error their way through a level, and then release a perfect run to anyone on the Internet that also wishes to 'beat' a level. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Inside TASBot’s semi-secret, probably legal effort to control the Nintendo Switch," 11 Jan. 2020 Jónsson and his team learned the process by researching historic techniques and using trial and error, and the resulting mineral-rich salt is clean, flaky little pyramids that embody the essence of the Nordic region. Regan Stephens, Fortune, "Why This 100% Sustainable Icelandic Sea Salt Based on Historic Production Methods Is Becoming a Chef Favorite," 4 Jan. 2020 Through trial and error, Zambia’s doctors could eventually introduce stroke units throughout the country. Oliver Staley, Quartz Africa, "Zambia has 17 million people, a stroke epidemic, and no neurologists," 30 Dec. 2019 After trial and error, a computerised milling machine did the job. The Economist, "Setting type How the world’s old printing presses are being brought back to life," 18 Dec. 2019 Paltrow and her team are simply offering trial and error alternatives. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "Watching 'The Goop Lab' could turn you into a member of the Goop troop," 23 Jan. 2020 As a result, most constructions, even for large projects, still rely on manual guesswork and onsite trial and error, leading to delays and cost escalations. Sunny Vohra, Quartz India, "Technology can help India’s real estate sector but no one’s listening," 23 Jan. 2020 Sweeney has learned this, too, after some trial and error. Molly Longman,, "Do You Suffer From Orthosomnia? The New Condition Sabotaging Our Sleep," 7 Jan. 2020 Researchers believe the rats either learned the technique by trial and error or had previous experience from eating Australian native toxic frogs. Fox News, "Australian water rats have learned to eat invasive poisonous toads with 'surgical precision'," 28 Oct. 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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The first known use of trial and error was in 1806

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Statistics for trial and error

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trial and error.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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