[ trahy-uhl, trahyl ]
/ ˈtraɪ əl, traɪl /




    on trial,
    1. undergoing examination before a judicial tribunal.
    2. undergoing a probationary or trial period.

Origin of trial

First recorded in 1520–30; try + -al2
Related forms
Can be confusedtrail trial

Synonym study

2, 3, 5. Trial , experiment , test imply an attempt to find out something or to find out about something. Trial is the general word for a trying of anything: articles sent for ten days' free trial. Experiment is a trial conducted to prove or illustrate the truth or validity of something, or an attempt to discover something new: an experiment in organic chemistry. Test is a more specific word, referring to a trial under approved and fixed conditions, or a final and decisive trial as a conclusion of past experiments: a test of a new type of airplane. 7. See affliction.

Definition for trial (2 of 2)

Trial, The


(German Der Prozess), a novel (1925) by Franz Kafka. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trial

British Dictionary definitions for trial (1 of 2)


/ (ˈtraɪəl, traɪl) /


verb trials, trialling or trialled

(tr) to test or make experimental use of (something)the idea has been trialled in several schools
Derived Formstrialling, noun

Word Origin for trial

C16: from Anglo-French, from trier to try

British Dictionary definitions for trial (2 of 2)


/ (ˈtraɪəl) /

noun grammar

a grammatical number occurring in some languages for words in contexts where exactly three of their referents are described or referred to
(modifier) relating to or inflected for this number

Word Origin for trial

C19: from tri- + -al 1
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 trial



mid-15c., "act or process of testing," from Anglo-French trial, noun formed from triet "to try" (see try). Sense of "examining and deciding a case in a court of law" is first recorded 1570s; extended to any ordeal by 1590s. As an adjectival phrase, trial-and-error is recorded from 1806. Trial balloon (1939) is congnate of French ballon d'essai.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with trial


In addition to the idioms beginning with trial

  • trial and error
  • trial balloon
  • trial by fire
  • trials and tribulations

also see:

  • on trial
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.