[ lab-ruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, lab-er-uh-; British luh-bor-uh-tuh-ree, -uh-tree ]
/ ˈlæb rəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈlæb ər ə-; British ləˈbɒr ə tə ri, -ə tri /

noun, plural lab·o·ra·to·ries.

a building, part of a building, or other place equipped to conduct scientific experiments, tests, investigations, etc., or to manufacture chemicals, medicines, or the like.
any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive to experimentation, investigation, observation, etc.; anything suggestive of a scientific laboratory.


serving a function in a laboratory.
relating to techniques of work in a laboratory: laboratory methods; laboratory research.

Origin of laboratory

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin labōrātōrium workshop, equivalent to Latin labōrā(re) to labor + -tōrium -tory2

Related forms

lab·o·ra·to·ri·al, adjectivelab·o·ra·to·ri·al·ly, adverblab·o·ra·to·ri·an, nounin·ter·lab·o·ra·to·ry, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for laboratories

British Dictionary definitions for laboratories


/ (ləˈbɒrətərɪ, -trɪ, US ˈlæbrəˌtɔːrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

  1. a building or room equipped for conducting scientific research or for teaching practical science
  2. (as modifier)laboratory equipment
a place where chemicals or medicines are manufactured
Often shortened to: lab

Word Origin for laboratory

C17: from Medieval Latin labōrātōrium workshop, from Latin labōrāre to labour
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

Medicine definitions for laboratories


[ lăbrə-tôr′ē ]


A room or building equipped for scientific research.
A place where drugs and chemicals are manufactured.
A place for practice, observation, or testing.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.