Definition of experience in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Practical contact with and observation of facts or events.

    ‘he had learned his lesson by painful experience’
    ‘she spoke from experience’
    • ‘In fact, direct experience can be a fast way for kids to learn the ropes of misleading ad campaigns.’
    • ‘It's a sad fact that age and experience are no longer accorded a proper respect in our society.’
    • ‘Students, as you may already know through experience or observation, do not have much money.’
    • ‘None of this denies the epistemic role of experience, of observation, in scientific inquiry.’
    • ‘A couple of people on our steering committee had contacts and direct experience with people in Africa.’
    • ‘The Brits have in fact had first-hand experience and proved themselves worthy.’
    • ‘In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.’
    • ‘In fact, my experience on the ground in the region also highlights an extremely difficult road ahead.’
    • ‘Start with observation, ordinary sensory experience of the world around you.’
    • ‘It argues that observation and experience are keys to constructing and judging scientific theories.’
    • ‘Bill is never a paragraph away from an anecdote, and everything he says is rooted in experience and fact.’
    • ‘We have no experience with the full 2005 aero package.’
    • ‘Here is one painful lesson learned from experience that I would like to pass on to others.’
    • ‘The third chapter was particularly good, if only because I have a tiny amount of personal experience of events.’
    • ‘The fact that we need experience to grasp this meaning is irrelevant.’
    • ‘In fact my experience is that these boots are simply not waterproof.’
    • ‘In my experience most in fact do see their employees as being a valuable contribution to their business.’
    • ‘Does it draw accurately from our experience and whatever facts we can find?’
    • ‘In fact, experience shows that intelligence extracted by duress is often flawed.’
    • ‘As time passed and his consciousness developed, he acquired knowledge by experience.’
    involvement in, participation in
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    1. 1.1The knowledge or skill acquired by a period of practical experience of something, especially that gained in a particular profession.
      ‘you should have the necessary experience in health management’
      • ‘Along the way, your team gains experience and develops their skills.’
      • ‘How did he gain the necessary experience in public relations consulting?’
      • ‘Our salaries and recognition of our professional skills and experience have been eroded over many years.’
      • ‘At 18 she started working in Ibiza and built up contacts and experience.’
      • ‘He happened to be a barrister with considerable and very relevant professional experience and skills.’
      • ‘No experience is necessary, as professional instructors will provide full training.’
      • ‘He said it was a pleasure to fish with such experts, who had 60 years fishing experience between them.’
      • ‘In addition they will gain valuable experience which could help them find employment or training opportunities.’
      • ‘He will apply them with the benefit of his professional skill and experience.’
      • ‘A great deal of training and experience is necessary to refine those technical skills.’
      • ‘Others, however, who stay to gain management experience as officers and NCOs are highly regarded.’
      • ‘She also worked in London, where she gained experience in the health and beauty industry.’
      • ‘Most probably the oil industry will want to use his experience and contacts in some broader role.’
      • ‘We send officers abroad to gain experience and pass that knowledge to the other members.’
      • ‘She said it was also necessary to have past experience of working in the show.’
      • ‘She opted to gain more field experience as well as pay off debt acquired over four years.’
      • ‘As training will be provided, no experience or skills are necessary, but they would be an advantage.’
      • ‘Not only does he have sound experience in organising major events, he is very familiar with the city and its local communities.’
      • ‘The fact that I have experience in that field might help but I will only offer my advice if asked for it.’
      • ‘The international vision is often based on earlier management experience and knowledge.’
      skill, practical knowledge, practice
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  • 2An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone.

    ‘audition day is an enjoyable experience for any seven-year old’
    • ‘Many have found it to be one of the most profound and enjoyable experiences of their lives.’
    • ‘Although it is often used in a religious context, it is entirely appropriate to apply it to secular experiences.’
    • ‘One of my most complicated and enjoyable roleplaying experiences was when I was playing in a game as a double agent.’
    • ‘These experiences are stored in the form of subtle impressions in our subconscious mind.’
    • ‘Our group is putting together a film of the visit, and we are only too happy to speak about our experiences at public events.’
    • ‘The former maths teacher who grew up on Arran is strong on learning experiences.’
    • ‘Future events will include a dance workshop and discussion of personal experiences.’
    • ‘Talking about bad service, I've had my fair share of experiences in the past month.’
    • ‘During that period she suffered extremely traumatic experiences which it is not necessary to recount.’
    • ‘In other words are there any unpleasant experiences associated with this event?’
    • ‘I want him to write all the stuff he can remember about his early exploits and wartime experiences.’
    • ‘For me, it was one of the most intriguing and enjoyable experiences of the festival.’
    • ‘She treasured and shared this experience and kept contact with the friends she made there.’
    • ‘That experience precipitated my first contact as an employee with a union.’
    • ‘Traumatic experiences often put this conviction to the test - but the test can be passed.’
    • ‘Does anybody think that the larger the scale of event, the more people will have these types of experiences?’
    • ‘A parent can make or break a kid by providing positive or negative experiences.’
    • ‘One of the most enjoyable experiences was a visit to one of the famous Hungarian thermal bath houses.’
    • ‘All the teachers involved were impressed by the learning experiences of the children.’
    • ‘Participants were asked to recall a traumatic event from their experiences.’
    incident, occurrence, event, happening, affair, episode, encounter
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  • 1 Encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence)

    ‘the company is experiencing difficulties’
    • ‘There are no equivalent political systems that are not experiencing this change.’
    • ‘A society which feels uncomfortable with itself tends to experience change as a destructive process.’
    • ‘Last year we experienced many significant events, some good and some not so good.’
    • ‘Participants could return after one week if they experienced adverse events or deterioration.’
    • ‘We knew we would experience a difficult start because of our tight development schedule.’
    • ‘We do not believe the global economy will experience a severe downturn, nor do we foresee a major inflationary threat.’
    • ‘The only way we can experience such royal events now is vicariously, through our modern media.’
    • ‘We will experience events reflecting the inner world to match the outer.’
    • ‘Sufferers may experience an acute episode, followed by long periods with no symptoms at all.’
    • ‘Three years on and Europe has come to experience a spectacular reversal of fortune in the economic realm.’
    • ‘In fact, just last month, the province came very close to experiencing a blackout of its own.’
    • ‘What did this actually mean for the soldiers who experienced these events?’
    • ‘If that breaks down, they experience a failure in a core function, regardless of the cause.’
    • ‘You have to go to a few shows to fully experience this event that ebbs and flows like water.’
    • ‘This was the greatest single disaster ever experienced by the British army.’
    • ‘It was inevitable that a ratings war would happen just as the economy experiences a downturn and advertisers go cold.’
    • ‘About half the people who experience traumatic events and have a diagnosable psychiatric injury do not seek medical help.’
    • ‘Most of those treated with the drug experienced adverse events at some time.’
    • ‘What is there to stop the same thing happening to the team should they experience a downturn in fortunes?’
    • ‘It cited reasons of costs at a time when the economy was experiencing a downturn.’
    undergo, encounter, meet, have experience of, come into contact with, run into, come across, come up against, face, be faced with, confront, be forced to contend with
    feel, know, become familiar with
    go through, live through, sustain, suffer, endure, tolerate
    participate in, taste, try
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    1. 1.1Feel (an emotion or sensation)
      ‘an opportunity to experience the excitement of New York’
      • ‘To experience new emotions, good and bad, we have to climb the mountains, and swim the ocean.’
      • ‘The deepest spiritual emotions are often experienced while one is alone in nature.’
      • ‘Competing at the world level gives me the opportunity to experience that feeling.’
      • ‘These were living, breathing souls who could experience pain and emotions just as well as we can!’
      • ‘You might experience love, lust or just friendly banter - whatever the outcome, it is worth a try.’
      • ‘Fear is a powerful emotion experienced by many people with musculoskeletal disorders.’
      • ‘Sometimes when people experience hunger pangs, their body is actually telling them that it needs water.’
      • ‘These patients have no awareness of their surroundings, nor do they experience sensations.’
      • ‘For young men who experience feelings of despair the outlook is bleaker.’
      • ‘Let us hope that the choice is made before families here have to experience the grief and suffering now being felt in Spain.’
      • ‘The coach, if not his players, can be excused for experiencing a pang of apprehension.’
      • ‘In fact, it is when we experience intense emotion that wisdom is closest at hand.’
      • ‘I kept experiencing these sensations of feeling really hot, as if in a fever.’
      • ‘Eventually, you will begin to actually experience the sensation of energy tingling up the spine.’
      • ‘As a novelist myself, I often experience those edgy emotions with respect to fellow novelists.’
      • ‘We intend to provide an opportunity for others to experience the joy and also comfort our faith brings to us.’
      • ‘We experience complex emotions and delicate beauty, feeling the vitality that only a human body can show.’
      • ‘She is returning for a family wedding in November and wants to know whether she will experience culture shock.’
      • ‘I have always said that I prefer to experience feelings to the full rather than shy away from them.’
      • ‘If you are someone who experiences depression or anxiety attacks you are welcome to come along.’
      undergo, go through, bear, endure, suffer, be forced to contend with
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Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin experientia, from experiri try. Compare with experiment and expert.