verb (used with object), ex·pe·ri·enced, ex·pe·ri·enc·ing.

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

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin experientia, equivalent to experient- (stem of experiēns, past participle of experīrī to try, test; see ex-1, peril) + -ia noun suffix; see -ence
Related formsex·pe·ri·ence·a·ble, adjectiveex·pe·ri·ence·less, adjectivepost·ex·pe·ri·ence, adjectivepre·ex·pe·ri·ence, noun, verb (used with object), pre·ex·pe·ri·enced, pre·ex·pe·ri·enc·ing.re·ex·pe·ri·ence, verb, re·ex·pe·ri·enced, re·ex·pe·ri·enc·ing.

Synonyms for experience

6. encounter, know, endure, suffer. Experience, undergo refer to encountering situations, conditions, etc., in life, or to having certain sensations or feelings. Experience implies being affected by what one meets with: to experience a change of heart, bitter disappointment. Undergo usually refers to the bearing or enduring of something hard, difficult, disagreeable, or dangerous: to undergo severe hardships, an operation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for experience

Contemporary Examples of experience

Historical Examples of experience

  • In this case, I can only hope that in my experience it failed so to do.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • Perhaps he will come back and tell his experience to his indifferent relatives.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Here too experience has afforded us the most satisfactory proof in its favor.

  • He had learned his lesson of experience, and profited thereby.

    A Night Out

    Edward Peple

  • It was with a lady whom I met but that once, within a year or two after my experience at Versailles.

British Dictionary definitions for experience



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
  1. the totality of characteristics, both past and present, that make up the particular quality of a person, place, or people
  2. the impact made on an individual by the culture of a people, nation, etcthe American experience
  1. the content of a perception regarded as independent of whether the apparent object actually existsCompare sense datum
  2. the faculty by which a person acquires knowledge of contingent facts about the world, as contrasted with reason
  3. the totality of a person's perceptions, feelings, and memories

verb (tr)

to participate in or undergo
to be emotionally or aesthetically moved by; feelto experience beauty
Derived Formsexperienceable, adjective

Word Origin for experience

C14: from Latin experientia, from experīrī to prove; related to Latin perīculum peril
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for experience

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

experience in Medicine




The feeling of emotions and sensations as opposed to thinking; involvement in what is happening rather than abstract reflection on an event.
Related formsex•peri•ence v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.