- 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 for experience on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for experience
Women are more likely to recover sooner from birth and less likely to experience post-partum depression.How Good Dads Can Change the World
Gary Barker, PhD, Michael Kaufman
January 6, 2015
He flew with Captain Irianto, 53, who had 20,000 hours experience, more than 6,000 hours on the A320.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501
January 6, 2015
Faal has some experience in both political and security matters, it seems.The Shadowy U.S. Veteran Who Tried to Overthrow a Country
January 6, 2015
At such a moment, the pilot has no resources other than his own instincts and experience.Flight 8501 Poses Question: Are Modern Jets Too Automated to Fly?
January 4, 2015
The shared feelings, the bubbling emotion, the awe: she became an experience.Bow Down, Bitches: How Beyoncé Turned an Elevator Brawl Into a Perfect Year
December 31, 2014
Perhaps he will come back and tell his experience to his indifferent relatives.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
In this case, I can only hope that in my experience it failed so to do.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
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
It was with a lady whom I met but that once, within a year or two after my experience at Versailles.The Conquest of Fear
- 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 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.
- The feeling of emotions and sensations as opposed to thinking; involvement in what is happening rather than abstract reflection on an event.