trial and error


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trial and error

A process of determining the correct way in which to do something by making multiple attempts and learning from any possible failures or mistakes. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. I didn't have any instructions for reassembling the machine, so it was just a case of trial and error until I got it right. You take a trial-and-error approach to this issue—we need to make sure we get it right the first time!
See also: and, error, trial

trial and error

trying repeatedly for success. I finally found the right key after lots of trial and error. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to get something done.
See also: and, error, trial

trial and error

An attempt to accomplish something by trying various means until the correct one is found. for example, The only way to solve this problem is by trial and error. The error here alludes to the failed means or attempts, which are discarded until the right way is found. [c. 1800]
See also: and, error, trial

trial and error

the process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until you find the most successful.
See also: and, error, trial
References in periodicals archive ?
Aeschleman and Higgins (1982) reported no significant differences in trials to criterion between stimulus fading, progressive time delay, and trial and error. Error correction had fewer trials followed by progressive delay, and finally, stimulus fading had the most trials in the McGee and McCoy (1981) investigation.
Profile dies, however, are still mainly designed by trial and error using methods that have changed little over the past 40 years.
Boris Lukezic, Amcan engineering manager, estimated that the company would have had 3% scrap due to porosity if it followed traditional trial and error methods.
For most of the history of rubber as an engineering material, its applications have largely been developed by trial and error. Prototypes are made for testing, results of which are used to alter designs, as modified prototypes are further tested until acceptable products emerge.
It was unrealistic to attempt this by trial and error. We would have had to make a small change to the tool, set it in the press, run a few samples to see the effect, then repeat the process until we got it right.
There's no room left today for tedious and time-consuming trial and error," Perdikoulias says.