The term “experimental” comes from the Latin word “experimentalis,” which means “pertaining to a trial” or “derived from experience.” This is derived from the Latin root “experimentum,” meaning “a trial” or “a test,” which itself comes from “experiri,” meaning “to try” or “to test.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*per-” means “to try” or “to risk.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “experiri” developed, meaning “to try” or “to test.” The noun “experimentum” comes from “experiri,” meaning “a trial” or “a test.” The adjective “experimentalis” is derived from “experimentum,” meaning “pertaining to a trial” or “derived from experience.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “experimentalis” evolved into Old French “experimental,” meaning “pertaining to experiments.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “experimental” was adopted into Middle English as “experimental,” meaning “based on or derived from experience or experiments.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “experimental” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “based on or derived from experience or experiments.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “experimental” has remained relatively stable, transitioning from Old French “experimental” to Modern English “experimental.”

Usage Examples

  • “The scientists conducted experimental research to test their hypothesis.”
  • “Another example of ‘experimental’ in a sentence is ‘She enjoys listening to experimental music that explores new sounds and techniques.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “experimental” was significantly influenced by the rise of scientific inquiry and the emphasis on empirical evidence and testing. Experimental methods have been central to advances in science, technology, and various fields of knowledge.

The word “experimental” reflects the importance of trials, tests, and empirical methods in gaining knowledge and making discoveries, emphasizing the role of experimentation in innovation and scientific progress.