Meaning of TRIAL in English


I. tri ‧ al 1 S3 W2 /ˈtraɪəl/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Anglo-French ; Origin: trier ; ⇨ ↑ try 1 ]

1 . COURT [uncountable and countable] a legal process in which a judge and often a ↑ jury in a court of law examine information to decide whether someone is guilty of a crime ⇨ try :

The trial is due to start next week.

on trial (for something)

Brady was on trial for assault.

⇨ ↑ show trial

2 . TEST [uncountable and countable] a process of testing to find out whether something works effectively and is safe:

a new drug that is undergoing clinical trials

3 . TRY SOMEBODY/SOMETHING [uncountable and countable] a short period during which you use or do something or employ someone to find out whether they are satisfactory for a particular purpose or job ⇨ try

on trial

They let me have the computer on trial for thirty days.

The security system will be reviewed after a three-month trial period.

Smith was hired on a six-month trial basis.

trial separation (=a period of time in which a husband and wife do not live together, to find out whether they want to stay married)

4 . by/through trial and error if you do something by trial and error, you test many different methods of doing something in order to find the best:

I learned most of what I know about gardening through trial and error.

5 . DIFFICULTY [countable usually plural] something that is difficult to deal with, and that is worrying or annoying ⇨ trying :

the daily trials of living in a poor country

be a trial (to/for somebody)

My brothers and I were always a real trial to my parents.

the trials and tribulations of running a business

6 . SPORTS trials [plural] British English a special sports competition in which people who want to be on a team are tested, so that the best can be chosen SYN tryout American English

horse/sheepdog trials (=a sporting competition in which horses or dogs compete)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ be on trial (=be being judged in a court of law)

Her son is on trial charged with murder.

▪ stand/face trial (=be judged in a court of law)

Doctors said he was unfit to stand trial.

▪ go on trial

Taylor went on trial accused of fraud.

▪ be awaiting/facing trial

Its managing director is awaiting trial on corruption charges.

▪ put somebody on trial

They should never have been put on trial, let alone convicted.

▪ bring somebody to trial

The people who were responsible for this crime must be brought to trial.

▪ be sent for trial ( also be committed for trial British English )

Smith's lawyer battled to stop him being sent for trial in Britain.

▪ a trial is held

We believe the trial will be held sometime next month.

▪ a trial opens (=officially begins)

The trial opened 5 weeks ago.

▪ a trial is adjourned (=it is officially stopped for several days, weeks, or months)

The trial was adjourned until November.


▪ a murder/fraud etc trial

She was a witness in a murder trial.

▪ a fair trial

He is entitled to a fair trial.

▪ a criminal trial (=for cases involving a crime )

In a criminal trial, guilt has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

▪ a civil trial (=for cases dealing with the private affairs of citizens, rather than cases involving a crime)

In civil trials, the jury's decision need not be unanimous.

■ phrases

▪ a case goes/comes to trial

If the case ever went to trial, he would probably lose.

■ nouns

▪ the trial judge

The trial judge acquitted the accused on the charge of assault.

▪ the trial lawyer

He is regarded as one of the finest trial lawyers in the state.

▪ the trial court

The evidence will be fully tested in the trial court.

▪ a trial date

No trial date has been set because of procedural delays.

▪ the trial verdict

His lawyers have said they will appeal the civil trial verdict.

II. trial 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle trialled , present participle trialling ) [transitive] British English

to thoroughly test something to see if it works correctly or is effective SYN try out :

These techniques were trialled by teachers in 300 schools.

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