Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of experience
Meaning of experience by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin experientia ( “a trial, proof, experiment, experimental knowledge, experience” ), from experiens, present participle of experiri ( “to try, put to the test, undertake, undero” ), from ex ( “out” ) + *periri ( “to go through” ), in past participle peritus ( “experienced, expert” ); see expert and peril .


    • IPA: /ɪkˈspɪə.ri.ens/, X-SAMPA: /Ik"spI@.rI.Ens/
    • IPA: /ɪksˈpɪɹiəns/, X-SAMPA: /Iks"pIr\i@ns/


    experience ( plural: experiences )

    1. Event( s ) of which one is cognizant .
      It was an experience he would not soon forget .
    2. Activity which one has performed .
    3. Collection of events and/or activities from which an individual or group may gather knowledge, opinions, and skills .
    4. The knowledge thus gathered .

    Usage notes

    • Adjectives often applied to "experience": good, bad, great, amazing, horrible, terrible, pleasant, unpleasant, educational, financial, military, commercial, academic, political, industrial, sexual, romantic, religious, mystical, spiritual, psychedelic, scientific, human, magical, intense, deep, humbling, unforgettable, unique, exciting, exhilarating .


    Derived terms

    External links

    • experience in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • experience in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • experience at OneLook Dictionary Search

Explanation of experience by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. undergo

    2. have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations

    3. undergo an emotional sensation or be in a particular state of mind

    4. go through ( mental or physical states or experiences )

    5. experience vertigo
    6. go or live through

    1. the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities

    2. a man of experience
      experience is the best teacher
    3. the content of direct observation or participation in an event

    4. he had a religious experience
      he recalled the experience vividly
    5. an event as apprehended

    6. a surprising experience
      that painful experience certainly got our attention

    Definition of experience by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Experience ( ĕkspērĭens ), n. [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.

    2. Experience, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Experienced ( ĕkspērĭenst ); p. pr. & vb. n. Experiencing ( ĕkspērĭensĭng ).]
      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.