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trial and error

experimentation or investigation in which various methods or means are tried and faulty ones eliminated in order to find the correct solution or to achieve the desired result or effect.
Origin of trial and error
Related forms
trial-and-error, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for trial and error
  • There have been more than ten thousand years for trial and error taste testing.
  • This, in turn, requires a bit of trial and error experimentation.
  • Through trial and error, he has adapted studio photographic techniques to the process.
  • They were, rather, the product of rigorous observation and of years of trial and error.
  • Many scientists develop a method for recording their observations through trial and error.
  • Through more trial and error, the researchers determined the reason for their failure.
  • In truth, it may take some trial and error to achieve perfectly clean clothes.
  • By trial and error he developed a style of personnel management that worked.
  • Biology is now driven by genomics, not by trial and error.
  • What is imperfect can be improved, by a process of trial and error.
British Dictionary definitions for trial and error

trial and error

a method of discovery, solving problems, etc, based on practical experiment and experience rather than on theory: he learned to cook by trial and error
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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trial and error in Culture

trial and error definition

To “proceed by trial and error” is to experiment, rejecting what does not work and adopting what does.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with trial and error

trial and error

An attempt to accomplish something by trying various means until the correct one is found. for example, The only way to solve this problem is by trial and error. The error here alludes to the failed means or attempts, which are discarded until the right way is found. [ c. 1800 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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