noun, often attributive
lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry | \ ˈla-b(ə-)rə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce laboratory (audio) , sometimes ˈla-bər-ˌtȯr- or ˈla-bə-ˌtȯr- or lə-ˈbȯr-ə-ˌtȯr- \
plural laboratories

Definition of laboratory

1a : a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis a research laboratory broadly : a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study
b : a place like a laboratory for testing, experimentation, or practice That area is a laboratory for cultivating the germ of terrorism.
2 : an academic period set aside for laboratory work a course of study requiring two lectures and one laboratory per week

Examples of laboratory in a Sentence

experiments conducted in a modern laboratory
Recent Examples on the Web The positive tests were sent to a laboratory to identify whether the infections are caused by Covid-19 variants. Ben Morse, CNN, 15 June 2021 The patient would provide the sample, package it and send the kit to a laboratory for testing. NBC News, 28 Aug. 2021 If its source is traced to a laboratory, that points to the need to upgrade biological security at facilities world-wide. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 Buried as an unknown soldier in the Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950, the remains were disinterred in April 2019 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for identification. Jesse Leavenworth,, 26 Aug. 2021 The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently turned over to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for identification. Amaris Encinas, The Arizona Republic, 25 Aug. 2021 Speaking to Danish documentarians, Peter Ben Embarek said Chinese researchers on the team had pushed back against linking the origins of the pandemic to a research laboratory in Wuhan in a report about the investigation. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 The state health department has said nearly every coronavirus sample sent to a laboratory for genomic sequencing was a delta variant infection. Mckenna Oxenden,, 10 Aug. 2021 But more than three weeks after representatives from both sides accompanied a sample to a New York laboratory, the test results had yet to be come back. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 10 Aug. 2021

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

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for laboratory

Medieval Latin laboratorium, from Latin laborare to labor, from labor

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Time Traveler for laboratory

Time Traveler

The first known use of laboratory was in 1592

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Dictionary Entries Near laboratory



laboratory school

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Statistics for laboratory

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Laboratory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of laboratory

: a room or building with special equipment for doing scientific experiments and tests


lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry | \ ˈla-brə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce laboratory (audio) , ˈla-bə-rə- \
plural laboratories

Kids Definition of laboratory

: a room or building in which scientific experiments and tests are done


noun, often attributive
lab·​o·​ra·​to·​ry | \ ˈlab-(ə-)rə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr-, British usually lə-ˈbär-ə-t(ə-)rē \
plural laboratories

Medical Definition of laboratory

: a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis

More from Merriam-Webster on laboratory

Nglish: Translation of laboratory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laboratory for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about laboratory


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