See more synonyms for experience on Thesaurus.com
  1. a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something: My encounter with the bear in the woods was a frightening experience.
  2. the process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something: business experience.
  3. 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.
  4. knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone: a man of experience.
  5. Philosophy. the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.
verb (used with object), ex·pe·ri·enced, ex·pe·ri·enc·ing.
  1. to have experience of; meet with; undergo; feel: to experience nausea.
  2. to learn by experience.
  1. 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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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. 2018

Examples from the Web for experiences

Contemporary Examples of experiences

Historical Examples of experiences

  • 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

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Humility, like the artistic, acceptance of all experiences, is merely a mode of manifestation.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • History records the experiences of but one man who has seen a flame in the open.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Then, again, his account of his experiences might be still more instructive.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for experiences


  1. direct personal participation or observation; actual knowledge or contactexperience of prison life
  2. a particular incident, feeling, etc, that a person has undergonean experience to remember
  3. 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
  4. philosophy
    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)
  1. to participate in or undergo
  2. 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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

experiences in Medicine


  1. 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.