Meaning of EXPERIMENT in English


I. ex ‧ per ‧ i ‧ ment 1 S3 W2 /ɪkˈsperəmənt, ɪkˈsperɪmənt/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ experiment , ↑ experimentation ; verb : ↑ experiment ; adverb : ↑ experimentally ; adjective : ↑ experimental ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin experimentum , from experiri ; ⇨ ↑ experience 1 ]

1 . a scientific test done to find out how something reacts under certain conditions, or to find out if a particular idea is true

experiment with/in/on

experiments with alcohol-fuelled cars

experiments on sleep deprivation

by experiment

Many small birds guide themselves by the stars, as has been verified by experiment.

2 . a process in which you test a new idea or method to see if it is useful or effective

experiment with/in/on

an experiment in state socialism

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ verbs

▪ do/carry out an experiment

They carried out a series of experiments to test the theory.


He did some experiments with bats.

▪ perform/conduct an experiment formal (=do an experiment)

The laboratory began conducting experiments on rats.

▪ an experiment shows/proves/demonstrates something

His experiment showed that lightning was a kind of electricity.


The experiment proved that fabrics treated with the chemical are much less likely to catch fire.

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + experiment

▪ a scientific experiment

Astronauts performed scientific experiments during the flight.

▪ animal experiments (=experiments using animals)

I think most animal experiments are cruel and unnecessary.

▪ a laboratory experiment (=one that takes place in a laboratory)

They did a series of laboratory experiments on human sleep patterns in the 1960s.

▪ a field experiment (=one that takes place in the real world, not in a laboratory)

In field experiments, we used patients who did not know that it was a test situation.

▪ a controlled experiment (=one that is done using correct scientific methods)

The theory has not yet been tested by a properly controlled experiment.

▪ a practical experiment (=one that relates to real situations or events, not scientific theories)

The research team compiled a set of practical experiments in Modern Astronomy.

■ phrases

▪ an experiment to test/measure/find out something

We did an experiment to test the acidity of the soil.


► Do not say ' make an experiment '. Say carry out an experiment or do an experiement .

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ adjectives

▪ a bold experiment (=one that tries to achieve a lot and takes risks)

The country's bold experiment with economic reform has not paid off yet.

▪ a unique experiment (=one that has not been done before)

Congestion charging is a unique experiment that other UK cities are watching with interest.

▪ a democratic/socialist/communist experiment (=one in which a country tries a new political system)

He went to Havana to judge for himself the success or failure of the socialist experiment.

▪ a social experiment (=one in which people try a new way of living and organizing society)

The community started out as a social experiment.

• • •


▪ research noun [uncountable] careful detailed work that is done in order to find out more about a subject, especially as a part of a scientific or academic project:

Billions of dollars have been spent on research into the causes and treatment of cancer.


The University has for a long time been a leading centre for research in this field.

▪ work noun [uncountable] the studies that have been done on a particular subject:

Faraday is famous for his work on electricity.


A lot of work has been done on hydrogen-powered cars.


Their work had an enormous influence on the study of genetics.

▪ study noun [countable] a piece of work in which someone examines a particular subject in order to find out more about it, and writes about what they have found:

The study showed that 25 percent of adults do not eat breakfast at all, compared with 14 percent in 1961.


Recent studies suggest that our sense of smell is closely linked with the part of the brain that deals with memory.

▪ experiment noun [countable] a scientific test in order to find out what happens when you do something:

They carried out a series of experiments (=they did a series of experiments) in order to try to prove their theory.


Experiments have shown that there is an increased risk of some forms of cancer.

II. ex ‧ per ‧ i ‧ ment 2 /ɪkˈsperəment, ɪkˈsperɪment/ BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ experiment , ↑ experimentation ; verb : ↑ experiment ; adverb : ↑ experimentally ; adjective : ↑ experimental ]

1 . to try using various ideas, methods etc to find out how good or effective they are

experiment with/on/in

He experimented with lighter-than-air flight.

The teacher provided some different materials and left the children to experiment.

2 . to do a scientific test to find out if a particular idea is true or to obtain more information

experiment with/on

I would defend the right of scientists to experiment on animals.

3 . to try doing something to find out what it feels like, for example having sex or using illegal drugs

experiment with

She admitted she had experimented with cocaine.

—experimenter noun [countable]

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.