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experiment (up)on (someone or something)

To perform tests on someone or 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. My sister is experimenting in astrophysics and has done some very fascinating research.
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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.
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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 ?
I am equal to whatever fate my father is equal to," she said, "nor do I think that a life upon one of these beautiful little islands would be much of a hardship--certainly not if it will help to promote the success of his scientific experiments.
She had gleaned enough from von Horn to understand that some important scientific experiments were to be undertaken; but what their nature she could not imagine, for she had not the slightest conception of the success that had crowned her father's last experiment at Ithaca, although she had for years known of his keen interest in the subject.
This phase of the many possibilities which he had realized might be contingent upon even the partial success of his work alone had escaped his consideration, so that the first wave of triumphant exultation with which he had viewed the finished result of this last experiment had been succeeded by overwhelming consternation as he saw the thing which he had created gasp once or twice with the feeble spark of life with which he had endowed it, and expire--leaving upon his hands the corpse of what was, to all intent and purpose, a human being, albeit a most grotesque and misshapen thing.
But the degree of fertility is likewise innately variable; for it is not always the same when the same two species are crossed under the same circumstances, but depends in part upon the constitution of the individuals which happen to have been chosen for the experiment.
Had they tried the experiment of recovering the letter?
Heidegger, who sat watching the experiment with philosophic coolness.
At this point, and before Bell had begun to experiment with his telegraph, the scene of the story shifts from Canada to Massachusetts.
But if the experiment was a failure, he would go back to his workbench and try some different plan.
I won't have people whispering and asking questions and I won't let my father hear about it until the experiment has quite succeeded.
No one would own that they were tired of the experiment, but by Friday night each acknowledged to herself that she was glad the week was nearly done.
It's a pity, but nothing goes right this week, and Pip has had the worst of the experiment.
March came home to find the three older girls hard at work in the middle of the afternoon, and a glance at the closet gave her an idea of the success of one part of the experiment.
I am bound to tell you that there is something to be said against the experiment as well as for it.
It is a question with me whether the experiment which I propose as a means of vindicating your innocence, may not also be made a means of recovering the lost Diamond as well.
For the present, let us return to our experiment with the opium.