[lab-ruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, lab-er-uh-; British luh-bor-uh-tuh-ree, -uh-tree]
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noun, plural lab·o·ra·to·ries.
  1. 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.
  2. any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive to experimentation, investigation, observation, etc.; anything suggestive of a scientific laboratory.
  1. serving a function in a laboratory.
  2. 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 formslab·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. 2018

Related Words for laboratory

workshop, lab

Examples from the Web for laboratory

Contemporary Examples of laboratory

Historical Examples of laboratory

British Dictionary definitions for laboratory


noun plural -ries
    1. a building or room equipped for conducting scientific research or for teaching practical science
    2. (as modifier)laboratory equipment
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for laboratory

c.1600, "building set apart for scientific experiments," from Medieval Latin laboratorium "a place for labor or work," from Latin laboratus, past participle of laborare "to work" (see labor (n.)). Figurative use by 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

laboratory in Medicine


  1. A room or building equipped for scientific research.
  2. A place where drugs and chemicals are manufactured.
  3. 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.