ETYM Latin experimentum, from experiri to try: cf. Old Fren. esperiment, experiment. Related to Experience.
In science, a practical test designed with the intention that its results will be relevant to a particular theory or set of theories. Although some experiments may be used merely for gathering more information about a topic that is already well understood, others may be of crucial importance in confirming a new theory or in undermining long-held beliefs.
The manner in which experiments are performed, and the relation between the design of an experiment and its value, are therefore of central importance. In general an experiment is of most value when the factors that might affect the results (variables) are carefully controlled; for this reason most experiments take place in a well-managed environment such as a laboratory or clinic.
1. A venture at something new or different.
2. The act of conducting a controlled test or investigation; SYN. experimentation.
3. The testing of an idea; SYN. experimentation.