[ 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 /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: laboratory / laboratories on Thesaurus.com

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.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of laboratory

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


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for laboratory

British Dictionary definitions for laboratory

/ (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

Medical definitions for laboratory

[ 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.