Meaning of “experiment” in the English Dictionary

"experiment" in British English

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experimentnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ɪkˈsper.ɪ.mənt/ us /ɪkˈsper.ə.mənt/

B1 a test done in order to learn something or to discover if something works or is true:

Some people believe that experiments on animals should be banned.
[ + to infinitive ] Scientists are conducting/carrying out/doing experiments to test the effectiveness of the new drug.
I've bought a different kind of coffee this week as an experiment (= in order to see what it is like).
We can only find the best solution by experiment.

More examples

  • Don't forget to try out the equipment before setting up the experiment.
  • In the second experiment they obtained a very clear result.
  • For the experiment to be valid, it is essential to record the data accurately.
  • The experiments were conducted by scientists in New York.
  • Our experiment worked better than we could have expected, and soon the baby was happy to sleep in her own bed.

experimentverb [ I ]

uk /ɪkˈsper.ɪ.ment/ us /ɪkˈsper.ə.ment/

B2 to try something in order to discover what it is like or find out more about it:

Things would never change if people weren't prepared to experiment.
The school is experimenting with new teaching methods.
Experimenting on mice can give us an idea of the effect of the disease in humans.

More examples

  • The young film-makers were given free rein to experiment with new themes and techniques.
  • I like to experiment with different light filters on my camera.
  • For a while the poet experimented with the idea of chanting his poems to music.
  • The artist experimented with different pigments and mediums, often with disastrous results.
  • I'd be very nervous about letting a trainee hairdresser experiment with my hair.
experimenter
noun [ C ] uk /ɪkˈsper.ɪ.men.tər/ us /ɪkˈsper.ə.ment̬ɚ/

(Definition of “experiment” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"experiment" in American English

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experimentnoun [ C/U ]

us /ɪkˈsper·ə·mənt/

science a test done in order to learn something or to discover whether something works or is true:

[ C ] His experiments were designed to find better methods of using heat energy.

experimentverb [ I ]

us /ɪkˈsper·əˌment/

to test or to try a new way of doing something:

The school is experimenting with new teaching methods.
experimentation
noun [ U ] us /ɪkˌsper·ə·mənˈteɪ·ʃən/

(Definition of “experiment” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)