Meaning of SAMPLE in English

I. ˈsampəl, ˈsaam-, ˈsaim-, ˈsȧm- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French essample — more at example

1. obsolete : one that is worthy of imitation : example

liv'd in court … most prais'd, most lov'd, a sample to the youngest — Shakespeare


a. : a representative portion of a whole : a small segment or quantity taken as evidence of the quality or character of the entire group or lot

the sample of the … Nordic race with which he identifies himself — Ruth Benedict

knowledge of the deep ocean floor comes from … bottom samples — F.P.Shepard

b. : one displaying characteristics typical of its kind : specimen

the collection of samples for museum displays — R.W.Murray

molded caps over the windows and the original broad porch make it an excellent sample of its period — American Guide Series: Connecticut


(1) : a trial package of a product distributed without cost to potential consumers

(2) : a unit of merchandise used for demonstration or display

floor sample

3. : one that serves to illustrate the full range or scope : indication , instance

offering listeners samples from the whole tradition of world drama — Leslie Rees

contrasting samples of church-state policy — Paul Blanshard


a. : a part (as of a population) used for purposes of investigating and comparing properties

poll a national sample as a means of predicting elections

b. : sampling

results of the sample … must be translated and interpreted — W.E.Deming

Synonyms: see instance

II. transitive verb

( sampled ; sampled ; sampling -p(ə)liŋ ; samples )

1. obsolete

a. : to make comparable to : find a counterpart for : match

she seemed to be sampled for him — Henry Lord

this notion … nowhere else sampled in any Greek author — Joseph Mede

b. : symbolize

some way sample that, which no way we can express — Henry Montagu

c. : copy

a model … must be sampled in Jerusalem — Joseph Hall


a. : to take a sample of : assess by examining a small portion : test

inspectors … sample a year's output of fifty million parts — Bryan Morgan

achievement tests … each sampling a different area — University of State of New York Bulletin

b. : to yield in sample

good ore, two feet of which samples more than … 30 ounces of silver — New York Sun

c. : to become acquainted with through personal experiment : try out : experience

rail fans will … adjust their itineraries this summer to sample the shiny new equipment — P.J.C.Friedlander

sample the pleasures of the simple life — Thomas Cadett

d. : to dip into : glance through : skim

sample the literature of social science

surrounds himself with books … and samples them as a dowager might a box of chocolates — Time

3. : to give an impression or show an example of : exemplify , represent

manuscripts are so extensive … that it would be a heavy task to undertake even to sample them adequately — Times Literary Supplement

denims are sampled in red — Women's Wear Daily

4. : to take samples from (a given population) and from them make statistical estimates of the trait or attitude measured

polling organizations sampled the electorate at intervals — Americana Annual

III. adjective

1. : serving as an illustration or example

sample question

designed a sample three-bedroom house — New York Times


a. : exemplifying a whole body or lot

sample ore

sample copy

b. : making, examining, showing, or distributing samples

sample cutter

sample tester

sample card

sample passer

3. : of an exploratory nature : experimental

sample tunnels have already indicated the proximity of fossils — R.W.Murray

4. : of or relating to a statistical sample

was courteous enough to check his attendances for us during a random sample week — Ernest & Pearl Beaglehole

IV. noun

: an excerpt from a musical recording that is used in another artist's recording

V. transitive verb

: to use a segment of (another's musical recording) as part of one's own recording

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.