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[ik-speer-ee-uh ns] /ɪkˈspɪər i əns/
a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something:
My encounter with the bear in the woods was a frightening experience.
the process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something:
business experience.
the observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time:
to learn from experience; the range of human experience.
knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone:
a man of experience.
Philosophy. the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.
verb (used with object), experienced, experiencing.
to have experience of; meet with; undergo; feel:
to experience nausea.
to learn by experience.
experience religion, to undergo a spiritual conversion by which one gains or regains faith in God.
Origin of experience
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin experientia, equivalent to experient- (stem of experiēns, past participle of experīrī to try, test; see ex-1, peril) + -ia noun suffix; see -ence
Related forms
experienceable, adjective
experienceless, adjective
postexperience, adjective
preexperience, noun, verb (used with object), preexperienced, preexperiencing.
reexperience, verb, reexperienced, reexperiencing.
6. encounter, know, endure, suffer. Experience, undergo refer to encountering situations, conditions, etc., in life, or to having certain sensations or feelings. Experience implies being affected by what one meets with: to experience a change of heart, bitter disappointment. Undergo usually refers to the bearing or enduring of something hard, difficult, disagreeable, or dangerous: to undergo severe hardships, an operation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for experiences
  • When you start stargazing with a telescope, two experiences typically ensue.
  • Listening to music involves not only hearing but also visual, tactile and emotional experiences.
  • Certain experiences can change your life: traveling to an exotic country, visiting an active volcano, floating through space.
  • Coal forms from organic material that decays and experiences pressure and heat for millions of years.
  • Readers' experiences with transportation alternatives point the way to a more efficient and healthier future for public transit.
  • He has, he said, made many friends and had interesting experiences.
  • There are also a number of user experience aspects in the video that would also make our computing experiences more comfortable.
  • His own experiences in the next war, he always said, made him decide to be a poet.
  • There are hundreds of resources on the web that can be helpful to someone creating service learning experiences for students.
  • His experiences during this short break nearly prevented him from writing again.
British Dictionary definitions for experiences


direct personal participation or observation; actual knowledge or contact: experience of prison life
a particular incident, feeling, etc, that a person has undergone: an experience to remember
accumulated knowledge, esp of practical matters: a man of experience
  1. the totality of characteristics, both past and present, that make up the particular quality of a person, place, or people
  2. the impact made on an individual by the culture of a people, nation, etc: the American experience
  1. the content of a perception regarded as independent of whether the apparent object actually exists Compare sense datum
  2. the faculty by which a person acquires knowledge of contingent facts about the world, as contrasted with reason
  3. the totality of a person's perceptions, feelings, and memories
verb (transitive)
to participate in or undergo
to be emotionally or aesthetically moved by; feel: to experience beauty
Derived Forms
experienceable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin experientia, from experīrī to prove; related to Latin perīculumperil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for experiences



late 14c., "observation as the source of knowledge; actual observation; an event which has affected one," from Old French esperience (13c.) "experiment, proof, experience," from Latin experientia "knowledge gained by repeated trials," from experientem (nominative experiens), present participle of experiri "to try, test," from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + peritus "experienced, tested," from PIE root *per- "to lead, pass over" (see peril). Meaning "state of having done something and gotten handy at it" is from late 15c.


1530s, "to test, try;" see experience (n.). Sense of "feel, undergo" first recorded 1580s. Related: Experiences; experiencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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experiences in Medicine

experience ex·pe·ri·ence (ĭk-spēr'ē-əns)
The feeling of emotions and sensations as opposed to thinking; involvement in what is happening rather than abstract reflection on an event.

ex·pe'ri·ence v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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