- a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something: My encounter with the bear in the woods was a frightening experience.
- the process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something: business experience.
- the observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time: to learn from experience; the range of human experience.
- knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone: a man of experience.
- Philosophy. the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.
- to have experience of; meet with; undergo; feel: to experience nausea.
- to learn by experience.
- experience religion, to undergo a spiritual conversion by which one gains or regains faith in God.
Origin of experience
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for experiences
Both Ney and Abramoff have reentered the public spotlight following their sentences, writing books about their experiences.Abramoff’s Advice for Virginia’s New Jailhouse Guv
Tim Mak, Jackie Kucinich
January 7, 2015
Was there something linked to something a little more universal as far as experiences are concerned?Patton Oswalt on Fighting Conservatives With Satire
January 6, 2015
His later books drew heavily from experiences and people he encountered at the bar, including the cruel captain in The Sea-Wolf.The Bars That Made America Great
December 28, 2014
Her experiences are recorded in a prison diary in which she has visions that have significance for the whole community.First Anglican Woman Bishop A Return to Christian Roots
December 18, 2014
Large universities may not be representative of experiences at mid-size or small colleges.Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Dec. 7
December 7, 2014
I too want to have experiences, to live where life's beat is most intense.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
The oddest part of these experiences is that the dirtier the inn the better the fare.The Roof of France
Humility, like the artistic, acceptance of all experiences, is merely a mode of manifestation.De Profundis
History records the experiences of but one man who has seen a flame in the open.Her Father's Daughter
Then, again, his account of his experiences might be still more instructive.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
- direct personal participation or observation; actual knowledge or contactexperience of prison life
- a particular incident, feeling, etc, that a person has undergonean experience to remember
- accumulated knowledge, esp of practical mattersa man of experience
- the totality of characteristics, both past and present, that make up the particular quality of a person, place, or people
- the impact made on an individual by the culture of a people, nation, etcthe American experience
- the content of a perception regarded as independent of whether the apparent object actually existsCompare sense datum
- the faculty by which a person acquires knowledge of contingent facts about the world, as contrasted with reason
- the totality of a person's perceptions, feelings, and memories
- to participate in or undergo
- to be emotionally or aesthetically moved by; feelto experience beauty
Word Origin and History for experiences
late 14c., "observation as the source of knowledge; actual observation; an event which has affected one," from Old French esperience (13c.) "experiment, proof, experience," from Latin experientia "knowledge gained by repeated trials," from experientem (nominative experiens), present participle of experiri "to try, test," from ex- "out of" (see ex-) + peritus "experienced, tested," from PIE root *per- "to lead, pass over" (see peril). Meaning "state of having done something and gotten handy at it" is from late 15c.
1530s, "to test, try;" see experience (n.). Sense of "feel, undergo" first recorded 1580s. Related: Experiences; experiencing.
- The feeling of emotions and sensations as opposed to thinking; involvement in what is happening rather than abstract reflection on an event.