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[ik-sper-uh-men-tl] /ɪkˌspɛr əˈmɛn tl/
pertaining to, derived from, or founded on experiment:
an experimental science.
of the nature of an experiment; tentative:
The new program is still in an experimental stage.
functioning as an experiment or used for experimentation:
an experimental airplane.
based on or derived from experience; empirical:
experimental knowledge.
something that is experimental.
Origin of experimental
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin experīmentālis. See experiment, -al1
Related forms
experimentally, adverb
nonexperimental, adjective
nonexperimentally, adverb
postexperimental, adjective
preexperimental, adjective
pseudoexperimental, adjective
pseudoexperimentally, adverb
quasi-experimental, adjective
quasi-experimentally, adverb
semiexperimental, adjective
semiexperimentally, adverb
unexperimental, adjective
unexperimentally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for experimental
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In 1971 economic officials considered important aspects of the economic organization to be still in an experimental stage.

    Area Handbook for Romania Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • Edison was acquainted with two experimental facts on which to base the invention.

  • Not more than three or four grains at once can be properly taken for medicinal or experimental purposes.

  • experimental model or not, this was a nice-looking hunk of machinery.

    Arm of the Law Harry Harrison
  • Thus the experimental results are opposed to the acknowledged experience of practical work in the hands of common laborers.

    The Galaxy Various
British Dictionary definitions for experimental


relating to, based on, or having the nature of experiment: an experimental study
based on or derived from experience; empirical: experimental evidence
tending to experiment: an experimental artist
tentative or provisional: an experimental rule in football
Derived Forms
experimentally, adverb
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 experimental

mid 15c., "having experience," from experiment (n.) + -al (1). Meaning "based on experience" is from 1560s. Meaning "for the sake of experiment" is from 1792 (e.g. Experimental farm).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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