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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Experience


EXPE'RIENCE, noun [Latin experientia, from experior, to try; ex and ant. perior; Gr. to attempt, whence pirate. Eng. to fare.The Latin 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 transitive 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.