trial run

noun
a preliminary performance or test of something, as of the operation of a ship or the effectiveness of a play.

Origin:
1900–05

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trial run
 
n
1.  a test drive in a vehicle to assess its performance
2.  a test or rehearsal of something new or untried to assess its effectiveness

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Solar highway seems a bit premature and needs a trial run.
It's trial run became a luxury cruise for the president.
He hopes to raise money for the trial run from the private sector.
We had grown more serious and wanted to live together as a trial run for
  marriage.
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