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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law Examination of evidence and applicable law by a competent tribunal to determine the issue of specified charges or claims.
  • n. The act or process of testing, trying, or putting to the proof: a trial of one's faith.
  • n. An instance of such testing, especially as part of a series of tests or experiments: a clinical trial of a drug.
  • n. An effort or attempt: succeeded on the third trial.
  • n. A state of pain or anguish that tests patience, endurance, or belief: "the fiery trial through which we pass” ( Abraham Lincoln).
  • n. A trying, troublesome, or annoying person or thing: The child was a trial to his parents.
  • n. A preliminary competition or test to determine qualifications, as in a sport.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or used in a trial.
  • adj. Attempted or advanced on a provisional or experimental basis: a trial separation.
  • adj. Made or done in the course of a trial or test.
  • idiom on trial In the process of being tried, as in a court of law.
  • idiom trial by fire A test of one's abilities, especially the ability to perform well under pressure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an opportunity to test something out; a test.
  • n. appearance at judicial court.
  • n. a difficult or annoying experience
  • adj. Pertaining to a trial or test.
  • adj. Attempted on a provisional or experimental basis.
  • v. To carry out a series of tests on (a new product, procedure etc.) before marketing or implementing it.
  • v. To try out (a new player) in a sports team.
  • adj. Characterized by having three (usually equivalent) components.
  • adj. Triple.
  • adj. pertaining to a language form referring to three of something, as people; contrast singular, dual and plural.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of trying or testing in any manner.
  • n. Any effort or exertion of strength for the purpose of ascertaining what can be done or effected.
  • n. The act of testing by experience; proof; test.
  • n. Examination by a test; experiment, as in chemistry, metallurgy, etc.
  • n. 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.
  • n. That which tries or afflicts; that which harasses; that which tries the character or principles; that which tempts to evil.
  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The process of obtaining accuracy in mechanical undertakings, whereby the result is attained by successive approximations. The first operation is tested and the error ascertained: then this error is corrected, and other trials made. Used in centering rough-finished work for the lathe operations, for the turning and boring of cast-pulleys, in making of face-plates, straight edges, valves, earings, and the like.
  • n. The act of trying or making a test of something; a putting to proof by examination, experiment, use, exercise, or other means.
  • n. The act of trying or making an effort; a seeking to do or effect something; a determining essay or attempt.
  • n. A test of superiority; a contest; a competition.
  • n. The state of being tried; probation by the experience or suffering of something; subjection to or endurance of affliction.
  • n. That which tries or afflicts; a trying circumstance or condition; a hardship; an affliction.
  • n. In law, the judicial investigation and determination of the issues between parties; that part of a litigation which consists in the examination by the court of the point in controversy, the hearing of the evidence, if any, and the determination of the controversy, or final submission of the cause for such determination.
  • n. Something upon or by means of which a test is made; an experimental sample or indicator; a trial-piece.
  • n. In ceramics, one of the pieces of ware which are used to try the heat of the kiln and the progress of the firing of its contents.
  • n. To bring to a test; try.
  • n. Synonyms Trial, Test, proof. Trial is the more general; test is the stronger. Test more often than trial represents that which is final and decisive: as, the guns, after a severe public test, were accepted.
  • n. Attempt, endeavor, effort, essay, exertion.
  • n. Trouble, affliction, distress, tribulation.
  • n. Touchstone, ordeal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (sports) a preliminary competition to determine qualifications
  • n. the act of undergoing testing
  • n. an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
  • n. (law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law
  • n. the act of testing something
  • n. trying something to find out about it

Etymologies

Middle English triall, a testing, from Anglo-Norman trial, from trier, to sort, try.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman trial from the verb trier, from Old French trier ("to pick out, cull"), from Gallo-Romance *triare, of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)
From Latin trialis, an adjective formed from tres ("three") + -ālis. (Wiktionary)

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