[ sam-puhl, sahm- ]
/ ˈsæm pəl, ˈsɑm- /
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See synonyms for: sample / samples / sampling on Thesaurus.com

a small part of anything or one of a number, intended to show the quality, style, or nature of the whole; specimen.
Statistics. a subset of a population: to study a sample of the total population.
a sound of short duration, as a musical tone or a drumbeat, digitally stored in a synthesizer for playback.
serving as a specimen: a sample piece of cloth.
verb (used with object), sam·pled, sam·pling.
to take a sample or samples of; test or judge by a sample.
"Is" it time for a new quiz? "Are" you ready? Then prove your excellent skills on using "is" vs. "are."
Question 1 of 7
IS and ARE are both forms of which verb?

Origin of sample

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English word from Old French word essample.See example

synonym study for sample

1. See example.


in·ter·sam·ple, noun, adjective, verb (used with object), in·ter·sam·pled, in·ter·sam·pling.mis·sam·ple, verb, mis·sam·pled, mis·sam·pling.re·sam·ple, verb (used with object), re·sam·pled, re·sam·pling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use sample in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sample

/ (ˈsɑːmpəl) /

  1. a small part of anything, intended as representative of the whole; specimen
  2. (as modifier)a sample bottle
Also called: sampling statistics
  1. a set of individuals or items selected from a population for analysis to yield estimates of, or to test hypotheses about, parameters of the whole population. A biased sample is one in which the items selected share some property which influences their distribution, while a random sample is devised to avoid any such interference so that its distribution is affected only by, and so can be held to represent, that of the whole populationSee also matched sample
  2. (as modifier)sample distribution
(tr) to take a sample or samples of
  1. to take a short extract from (one record) and mix it into a different backing track
  2. to record (a sound) and feed it into a computerized synthesizer so that it can be reproduced at any pitch

Word Origin for sample

C13: from Old French essample, from Latin exemplum example
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

Cultural definitions for sample


In statistics, a group drawn from a larger population and used to estimate the characteristics of the whole population.

notes for sample

Opinion polls use small groups of people, often selected at random, as a sample of the opinions of the general public.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.