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Experience Definitions

What Does Experience Mean


The apprehension of an object, thought, or emotion through the senses or mind

a child's first experience of snow.


Active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill

a lesson taught by experience.

a carpenter with experience in roof repair.


The knowledge or skill so derived.


An event or a series of events participated in or lived through.


The totality of such events in the past of an individual or group.


To participate in personally; undergo

experience a great adventure.

experienced loneliness.


Event(s) of which one is cognizant.

It was an experience he would not soon forget.


(countable) An activity one has performed.


(countable) A collection of events and/or activities from which an individual or group may gather knowledge, opinions, and skills.


(uncountable) The knowledge thus gathered.


(transitive) To observe certain events; undergo a certain feeling or process; or perform certain actions that may alter one or contribute to one's knowledge, opinions, or skills.


the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities;

a man of experience

experience is the best teacher


the content of direct observation or participation in an event;

he had a religious experience

he recalled the experience vividly


an event as apprehended;

a surprising experience

that painful experience certainly got our attention


go or live through;

We had many trials to go through

he saw action in Viet Nam


have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations;

I know the feeling!

have you ever known hunger?

I have lived a kind of hell when I was a drug addict

The holocaust survivors have lived a nightmare

I lived through two divorces


of mental or physical states or experiences;

get an idea

experience vertigo

get nauseous

undergo a strange sensation

The chemical undergoes a sudden change

The fluid undergoes shear

receive injuries

have a feeling


undergo an emotional sensation;

She felt resentful

He felt regret



The stocks had a fast run-up


Trial, as a test or experiment.

She caused him to make experienceUpon wild beasts.


The effect upon the judgment or feelings produced by any event, whether witnessed or participated in; personal and direct impressions as contrasted with description or fancies; personal acquaintance; actual enjoyment or suffering.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.

To most men experience is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed.

When the consuls . . . came in . . . they knew soon by experience how slenderly guarded against danger the majesty of rulers is where force is wanting.

Those that undertook the religion of our Savior upon his preaching, had no experience of it.


An act of knowledge, one or more, by which single facts or general truths are ascertained; experimental or inductive knowledge; hence, implying skill, facility, or practical wisdom gained by personal knowledge, feeling or action; as, a king without experience of war.

Whence hath the mind all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer in one word, from experience.

Experience may be acquired in two ways; either, first by noticing facts without any attempt to influence the frequency of their occurrence or to vary the circumstances under which they occur; this is observation; or, secondly, by putting in action causes or agents over which we have control, and purposely varying their combinations, and noticing what effects take place; this is experiment.


To make practical acquaintance with; to try personally; to prove by use or trial; to have trial of; to have the lot or fortune of; to have befall one; to be affected by; to feel; as, to experience pain or pleasure; to experience poverty; to experience a change of views.

The partial failure and disappointment which he had experienced in India.


To exercise; to train by practice.

The youthful sailors thus with early careTheir arms experience, and for sea prepare.

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