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Webster 1913 Edition


Experience

Ex-pe′ri-ence

(ĕks-pē′rĭ-ens)
,
Noun.
[F.
expérience
, L.
experientia
, tr.
experiens
,
experientis
, p. pr. of
experiri
,
expertus
, to try;
ex
out + the root of
peritus
experienced. See
Peril
, and cf.
Expert
.]
1.
Trial, as a test or experiment.
[Obs.]
She caused him to make
experience

Upon wild beasts.
Spenser.
2.
The effect upon the judgment or feelings produced by any event, whether witnessed or participated in; personal and direct impressions as contrasted with description or fancies; personal acquaintance; actual enjoyment or suffering.
“Guided by other’s experiences.”
Shak.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of
experience
.
P. Henry
To most men experience
is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed.
Coleridge.
When the consuls . . . came in . . . they knew soon by
experience
how slenderly guarded against danger the majesty of rulers is where force is wanting.
Holland.
Those that undertook the religion of our Savior upon his preaching, had no
experience
of it.
Sharp.
3.
An act of knowledge, one or more, by which single facts or general truths are ascertained; experimental or inductive knowledge; hence, implying skill, facility, or practical wisdom gained by personal knowledge, feeling or action;
as, a king without
experience
of war
.
Whence hath the mind all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer in one word, from
experience
.
Locke.
Experience
may be acquired in two ways; either, first by noticing facts without any attempt to influence the frequency of their occurrence or to vary the circumstances under which they occur; this is
observation
; or, secondly, by putting in action causes or agents over which we have control, and purposely varying their combinations, and noticing what effects take place; this is
experiment
.
Sir J. Herschel.

Ex-pe′ri-ence

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Experienced
(ĕks-pē′rĭ-enst)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Experiencing
(ĕks-pē′rĭ-en-sĭng)
.]
1.
To make practical acquaintance with; to try personally; to prove by use or trial; to have trial of; to have the lot or fortune of; to have befall one; to be affected by; to feel;
as, to
experience
pain or pleasure; to
experience
poverty; to
experience
a change of views.
The partial failure and disappointment which he had
experienced
in India.
Thirwall.
2.
To exercise; to train by practice.
The youthful sailors thus with early care
Their arms
experience
, and for sea prepare.
Harte.
To experience religion
(Theol.)
,
to become a convert to the doctrines of Christianity; to yield to the power of religious truth.

Webster 1828 Edition


Experience

EXPE'RIENCE

,
Noun.
[L. experientia, from experior, to try; ex and ant. perior; Gr. to attempt, whence pirate. Eng. to fare.The L. periculum, Eng. peril, are from the same root. We see the root of these words is to go, to fare, to drive, urge or press, to strain or stretch forward.
1.
Trial, or a series of trials or experiments; active effort or attempt to do or to prove something, or repeated efforts. A man attempts to raise wheat on moist or clayey ground; his attempt fails of success; experience proves that wheat will not flourish on such a soil. He repeats the trial, and his experience proves the same fact. A single trial is usually denominated an experiment; experience may be a series of trials, or the result of such trials.
2.
Observation of a fact or of the same facts or events happening under like circumstances.
3.
Trial from suffering or enjoyment; suffering itself; the use of the senses; as the experience we have of pain or sickness. We know the effect of light, of smell or of taste by experience. We learn the instability of human affairs by observation or by experience. We learn the value of integrity by experience. Hence,
4.
Knowledge derived from trials, use, practice, or from a series of observations.

EXPE'RIENCE

,
Verb.
T.
To try by use, by suffering or by enjoyment. Thus we all experience pain, sorrow and pleasure; we experience good and evil; we often experience a change of sentiments and views.
1.
To know by practice or trial; to gain knowledge or skill by practice or by a series of observations.

Definition 2021


experience

experience

See also: expérience

English

Noun

experience (countable and uncountable, plural experiences)

  1. (countable, uncountable) Event(s) of which one is cognizant.
    It was an experience he would not soon forget.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad:
      “I have tried, as I hinted, to enlist the co-operation of other capitalists, but experience has taught me that any appeal is futile that does not impinge directly upon cupidity. 
  2. (countable) An activity which one has performed.
  3. (countable) A collection of events and/or activities from which an individual or group may gather knowledge, opinions, and skills.
  4. (uncountable) The knowledge thus gathered.
    • 2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, Killer robots should be banned in advance, UN told”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6:
      In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.

Usage notes

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

experience (third-person singular simple present experiences, present participle experiencing, simple past and past participle experienced)

  1. (transitive) To observe certain events; undergo a certain feeling or process; or perform certain actions that may alter one or contribute to one's knowledge, opinions, or skills.

Derived terms

Translations