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[sam-pler, sahm-] /ˈsæm plər, ˈsɑm-/
a person who samples.
a piece of cloth embroidered with various stitches, serving to show a beginner's skill in needlework.
a collection of samples, selections, etc.:
a sampler of French poetry.
an electronic device that digitally encodes and stores samples of sound.
1250-1300; Middle English samplere < Old French essamplere, exemplaire < Latin exemplārium exemplar Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sampler
  • If you've never grown heirlooms before and don't know where to begin, start with a sampler.
  • The sampler tins are fun if you want to try new teas.
  • The result is both an engrossing sampler of the city's many literary voices and an informal survey of its rich cultural history.
  • The sampler set is included in this, cinnamon-apple jelly in a large jar homemade cookies.
  • We added some successful new items, such as our sampler platter.
  • For lunch, start with an order of calamari or a tuna sampler.
  • Mysterious or comic, historical or touching, a seasonal sampler of fine fiction.
British Dictionary definitions for sampler


a person who takes samples
a piece of embroidery executed as an example of the embroiderer's skill in using a variety of stitches: often incorporating numbers, letters, and the name and age of the embroiderer in a decorative panel
(music) a piece of electronic equipment used for sampling
a recording comprising a collection of tracks from other albums, intended to stimulate interest in the featured products
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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Contemporary definitions for sampler

See samplist's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for sampler

"embroidery specimen by a beginner to show skill," 1520s, from sample (n.); earlier "pattern, model, example to be imitated" (early 14c.). The connecting notion is probably "piece of embroidery serving as a pattern to be copied, or to fix and retain the pattern." As "a collection of samples" from 1912.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for sampler

embroidered panel of linen on which various types of stitches are demonstrated. The earliest extant European examples date from the 16th century. The original purpose of the sampler, in the period before embroidery pattern books became available in 1523, was to demonstrate a repertory of embroidery stitches that might be used in the future. In the earliest dated specimen (1598), different motifs are arranged in a somewhat random fashion on linen. In the 17th century both the function of the sampler and its appearance changed. A school exercise rather than a repertory of stitches, it was dated and signed with the name of the pupil and sometimes of the teacher as well. It was, moreover, a work of art, executed as an end in itself. In the 17th century it was usual to work rows of stitches across the width of a long, oblong band; from the early 18th century onward, samplers tended to become square in shape and to show an overall design for arranging the component stitches, though the old form also persisted. Texts were embroidered, framed with a symmetrical arrangement of motifs; scenes with houses and people were worked, approximating embroidered pictures; and, in the latter part of the century, maps, almanacs, and the like were also represented. Nineteenth-century samplers continued on similar lines, mainly on canvas.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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