Definition of “sample” - English Dictionary

“sample” in British English

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samplenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈsɑːm.pəl/ us /ˈsæm.pəl/

sample noun [ C ] (SMALL AMOUNT)

B2 a small amount of something that shows you what the rest is or should be like:

a free sample of shampoo
samples of carpet/curtain material
Please bring some samples of your work to the interview.

C2 a small amount of a substance that a doctor or scientist collects in order to examine it:

a blood/urine sample

B2 a group of people or things that is chosen out of a larger number and is asked questions or tested in order to get information about the larger group:

a random sample of voters

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sampleverb [ T ]

uk /ˈsɑːm.pəl/ us /ˈsæm.pəl/

sample verb [ T ] (SMALL AMOUNT)

to taste a small amount of food or drink to decide if you like it:

As the food looked so good, he decided to sample a little from each dish.

C2 to experience a place or an activity, often for the first time:

So you're going to sample the delights/pleasures of the new restaurant?

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

“sample” in American English

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samplenoun [ C ]

us /ˈsæm·pəl/

a small amount of something which shows what the rest is or should be like:

a free sample
a blood/tissue sample

A sample of people is a small group that is tested to obtain information about the larger group:

The poll is based on a random sample of Montgomery voters.

sampleverb [ T ]

us /ˈsæm·pəl/

to take or try a small amount of something:

He sampled a little of each dish.
Buma sampled opinions from people in both countries.

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

“sample” in Business English

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samplenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈsɑːmpl/ us

COMMERCE, MARKETING a small amount of a substance, product, etc. that shows someone thinking of buying it what it is like:

a carpet/fabric/product sample
Write to us and we will send you a free sample.

MARKETING a group of people chosen from a larger group, who give their opinions, answer questions, etc. in order to provide information about the whole group:

a sample of sth A sample of three HR Managers and 30 employees was selected and interviewed.
The marketing poll was conducted by telephone among a representative sample of 1,136 adults.
a large/small sample

a small amount of a substance or product that is tested to find out whether it is good, whether it contains a particular substance, etc.:

The investigation into tainted pet food has grown to include tests of 700 samples.
The next step will be to build a few dozen samples of each device and send them out for testing in both urban and rural settings.

sampleverb [ T ]

uk /ˈsɑːmpl/ us

COMMERCE, MARKETING to try a small amount of a product, or try a service for a short time, in order to see whether you want to buy it:

On a typical overseas tour, a buyer could sample 120 wines in a day.
They are recruiting 2,500 telephone customers to sample the service for 12 months.

MARKETING to ask for the opinions of a number of people chosen from a group, in order to get information about the whole group:

The survey sampled 150 chief executives from both large and small companies.

to test a small amount of a substance or product to find out whether it is good, whether it contains a particular substance, etc.:

sample sth for sth Before the food can be sold to markets and stores, the FDA samples goods for defects.

(Definition of “sample” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)