trial

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

Definition of trial

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

trial

adjective

Definition of trial (Entry 2 of 3)

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

trial

verb
trialed or trialled; trialing or trialling; trials

Definition of trial (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to test the functioning, value, or usefulness of (something) In 2014, Germany trialed a copyright law granting publishers licensing fees for quoted content.— Kim Willsher So a raft of demonstration projects around the world have trialled "smart grids" that deal with electricity flowing in two directions—accommodating individuals selling power back to the utility company operation …— Caroline Williams

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Synonyms for trial

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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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 Coleman was previously found not guilty, and the city of East Cleveland dismissed charges against three other supervisors before their trials. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Ohio Supreme Court affirms appeals court can’t hear East Cleveland’s petition over trial of Cleveland police supervisor from ’137 shots’ case," 28 May 2020 Jurors were presented with evidence at his February trial of thousands of images of child pornography that were downloaded between August 2017 and November 2017. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "Two San Antonio men headed to federal prison on child porn charges," 27 May 2020 Pfizer hasn't given a timetable for its Phase 3 trial. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "With big talk and hurled insults, the gloves come off in the race for the coronavirus vaccine," 27 May 2020 The World Health Organization temporarily halted tests on hydroxychloroquine — the drug President Trump has touted without scientific evidence — in its Covid-19 drug trials because of safety concerns. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: May 25," 26 May 2020 At the time of her Pimsleur trial, our tester was already relatively familiar with the Spanish language and felt as though that made her lessons a bit easier. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "You can try this popular language learning service out for free," 26 May 2020 Despite the warnings of caution, many of the teams are planning to move their next trials overseas. Fox News, "UK researchers warn of only '50 percent' success for COVID vaccine trial," 25 May 2020 Perry was tested before his trial to see if his DNA matched the hairs. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "What to know about the murders of Harold and Thelma Swain," 23 May 2020 ClostraBio plans to launch its first human trial by 2021, Nagler says. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Gut Microbes May Be Key to Solving Food Allergies," 23 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The image proved to be so popular, pancakes and pancake turners became trial motifs. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Richard Scrushy gets his day in court (again!) on Netflix’s ‘Trial by Media’," 14 May 2020 What's more, Quibi's limited library may turn out to be a liability with a longer trial period, says Kirby Grines, founder of 43Twenty, a strategic advisory firm for direct-to-consumer video. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Quibi launches in a world paralyzed by coronavirus," 6 Apr. 2020 Thirteen-year-old suspect Zyairr Davis has not been indicted on murder charges and has instead stood trial in family court. Asia Ewart, refinery29.com, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sees More Than One Tragedy In The Death Of Tessa Majors," 24 Feb. 2020 Under those trial rules, a vote to call witnesses is still a possibility, but would happen after both sides make their arguments over Trump’s removal from office. Alana Abramson, Time, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Confirms Path Forward on Impeachment," 10 Jan. 2020 Along the way, Stone interacted with then-Trump campaign official Stephen K. Bannon, who is expected to be a trial witness. Washington Post, "A conspiracy of hunches: Roger Stone trial set to start this week," 4 Nov. 2019 But his ruling only applies to pretrial deposition testimony, not trial testimony. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "Tim Tebow now expected as witness in two drug trials against his trainer," 16 Sep. 2019 Al-Menhali, who was in the area to undergo medical treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, collapsed after the incident and was hospitalized, the trial brief states. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Emirati man settles lawsuit filed after Avon police detained him because hotel clerk claimed he supported ISIS," 11 Sep. 2019 The trial brief states that authorities also found Galvez’s Facebook page. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Gunman gets 80 to life in deadly theft of $800 worth of meth," 19 June 2019

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

Verb

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trial

Noun

Anglo-French, from trier to try

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Time Traveler for trial

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trial

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trial. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for trial

trial

noun
How to pronounce trial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trial

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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 3)

: 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

verb

English Language Learners Definition of trial (Entry 3 of 3)

British : to test the quality, value, or usefulness of (something)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

Comments on trial

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