experiment

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experiment (up)on (someone or something)

To perform tests on something in order to gain insight and data about it. We got approval to start experimenting on mice, so we can see how the procedure affects their islet cells.
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experiment in (something)

To test or do research in a particular subject or area. It must be hard to compete with your sister when she's experimenting in astrophysics and your failing most of your classes.
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experiment with (something)

1. Literally, to use something as a component in research or tests. We got approval to start experimenting with this new procedure on mice, so we can see how the procedure affects their islet cells.
2. By extension, to try doing or using something new. I'm experimenting with basil tonight, even though I don't usually include it in this recipe. I just don't like the synth-heavy sound the band's experimenting with on this album.
See also: experiment

experiment in something

to conduct research or experiments about something. The research group is experimenting in the field of biomechanics. We want to experiment in thermodynamics.
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experiment (up)on someone or something

to use someone or something as the subject of an experiment. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Do you think we should experiment upon people? The researchers were experimenting on a new drug that might cure rabies.
See also: experiment, on

experiment with someone or something

to try different experiments on someone or something; to use different people or things as key variables in an experiment. They are supposed to be experimenting with new drugs. We no longer experiment with animals.
See also: experiment
References in classic literature ?
Pipt experimented on me with the first magic Powder of Life he ever made, and so far I've never broken or cracked or chipped any part of me.
He experimented with premiums for extra work performed by the black boys, and yearned continually for more of them to put to work.
When he experimented in a small way at raising a few pigeons for market, he found no less zest in calculating in squabs than formerly when he had calculated in millions.
Diana did Anne's front hair in the new pompadour style and Anne tied Diana's bows with the especial knack she possessed; and they experimented with at least half a dozen different ways of arranging their back hair.
Chaucer experimented with the numerous lyric forms which the French poets had brought to perfection; he also translated, in whole or in part, the most important of medieval French narrative poems, the thirteenth century 'Romance of the Rose' of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung, a very clever satirical allegory, in many thousand lines, of medieval love and medieval religion.
The hunters have experimented and practised with their rifles and shotguns till they are satisfied, and the boat-pullers and steerers have made their spritsails, bound the oars and rowlocks in leather and sennit so that they will make no noise when creeping on the seals, and put their boats in apple-pie order--to use Leach's homely phrase.