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trial Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of testing something
    test; run.
    • in the experimental trials the amount of carbon was measured separately
    • he called each flip of the coin a new trial
  2. noun trying something to find out about it
    test; trial run; tryout.
    • a sample for ten days free trial
    • a trial of progesterone failed to relieve the pain
  3. noun the act of undergoing testing
    • he survived the great test of battle
    • candidates must compete in a trial of skill
  4. noun (law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law
    • he had a fair trial and the jury found him guilty
    • most of these complaints are settled before they go to trial
  5. noun (sports) a preliminary competition to determine qualifications
    • the trials for the semifinals began yesterday
  6. noun an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
    visitation; tribulation.
    • his mother-in-law's visits were a great trial for him
    • life is full of tribulations
    • a visitation of the plague

Tri"al noun
From Try.
  1. The act of trying or testing in any manner. Specifically: -- (a) Any effort or exertion of strength for the purpose of ascertaining what can be done or effected.
    [I] defy thee to the trial of mortal fight. Milton.
    (b) The act of testing by experience; proof; test.
    Repeated trials of the issues and events of actions. Bp. Wilkins.
    (c) Examination by a test; experiment, as in chemistry, metallurgy, etc.
  2. The state of being tried or tempted; exposure to suffering that tests strength, patience, faith, or the like; affliction or temptation that exercises and proves the graces or virtues of men.
    Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings. Heb. xi. 36.
  3. That which tries or afflicts; that which harasses; that which tries the character or principles; that which tempts to evil; as, his child's conduct was a sore trial.
    Every station is exposed to some trials. Rogers.
  4. (Law) The formal examination of the matter in issue in a cause before a competent tribunal; the mode of determining a question of fact in a court of law; the examination, in legal form, of the facts in issue in a cause pending before a competent tribunal, for the purpose of determining such issue. Syn. -- Test; attempt; endeavor; effort; experiment; proof; essay. See Test, and Attempt.

Webster 1913