Definition of trial in English:

trial

Line breaks: trial
Pronunciation: /ˈtrʌɪəl
 
/

noun

  • 1A formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings: the newspaper accounts of the trial [mass noun]: the editor was summoned to stand trial for libel
    More example sentences
    • In both civil and criminal trials, appeals courts strongly defer to a jury's decision to believe one witness rather than another.
    • They can hold people in contempt of court, and when litigants consent, magistrate judges can preside at civil jury trials.
    • Nullification is a byproduct of the robust right of criminal defendants to a trial by jury.
    Synonyms
    court case, case, lawsuit, suit, hearing, enquiry, tribunal, litigation, judicial proceedings, legal proceedings, proceedings, legal action; court martial; appeal, retrial
  • 2A test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something: clinical trials must establish whether the new hip replacements are working
    More example sentences
    • Instead they voted for a full gyratory system for a trial period of three months.
    • In our view one month into the trial period is too soon to have a valid comment.
    • Ideally, all drugs used to treat children would be subject to quality clinical research and trials to be authorised for use in children.
    Synonyms
    test, try-out, experiment, pilot study; examination, check, assessment, evaluation, appraisal; trial/test period, trial/test run, probation, testing, dummy run; audition, screen test
    informal dry run
    technical assay
  • 2.1A sports match to test the ability of players eligible for selection to a team: he cracked his ankle the week before the final trial
    More example sentences
    • Lane and the national selectors confirmed the squad on Saturday evening after the trial match involving 41 players.
    • He had won the World championship and had qualified for Athens too, but did not make the Australian team after the selection trials.
    • Another Aboriginal athlete vying for selection at the Olympic trials in August will be Patrick Johnson from the Umpila tribe of north Queensland.
  • 2.2A test of individual ability on a motorcycle over rough ground or on a road.
    More example sentences
    • After the war, I started racing motorcycles and riding in trials, but while I was reasonable I wasn't good enough to satisfy myself, and so I concentrated on my business.
    • A leading footpath campaigner said the motorcycle trials was a separate issue but still needed to be considered by the inspector.
    • The aim is to discover Britain's best over four fields: trials, motocross, supermoto and road racing.
  • 2.3 (trials) An event in which horses, dogs, or other animals compete or perform: horse trials
    More example sentences
    • The bulls have to compete in feed efficiency trials as young animals before they get into the bull studs.
    • She made her yearly trek east in February, to compete in horse trials leading up to the big three-days.
    • Johnston won three of this year's recognised trials with horses who were not entered for the big race.

verb (trials, trialling, trialled; US trials, trialing, trialed)

Back to top  
  • 1 [with object] Test (something, especially a new product) to assess its suitability or performance: teachers all over the UK are trialling the materials
    More example sentences
    • It says it has been trialing the product with rival operators for some months now.
    • Before final publication approximately 300 children and their teachers at ten schools piloted the ideas in the pack, and 21 schools have trialled the finished product.
    • It is initially trialing its product with 1,000 rural users and has a 10,000 users expansion target.
    Synonyms
  • 2 [no object] (Of a horse, dog, or other animal) compete in trials: the pup trialled on Saturday
    More example sentences
    • This is a ‘must have’ book for anyone who has an interest in sheep dog trialling.
    • Whangamomona also sees endurance riding, dog trialling, and the Great New Zealand Horse Trek which was held last year.
    • But Westmorland Gazette sheep dog correspondent Elaine Hill said it was very rare that dog trialling interfered with wildlife and that few if any people were genuinely concerned about the impact of the Hunting Bill on the sport.

Phrases

on trial

  • 1Being tried in a court of law: two men have gone on trial for the murder
    More example sentences
    • Last week they also briefly occupied the court where Kulayev is on trial.
    • Though the press spinners are not on trial in Court 73, there are plenty who think they should be.
    • At most, he may wind up on trial in a real court rather than merely in the press.
  • 2Being tested for performance or suitability: water metering has been on trial in England and Wales
    More example sentences
    • He put the show on ice for an extended break in 1985, then literally put Colin Baker on trial to see if ratings improved.
    • Du Wei, the Chinese international, will be watched like a hawk at Celtic Park, where he spends this week on trial.
    • The centre is currently on trial at two clubs in Leeds and Bushey.

trial and error

The process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until one finds the most successful: pupils learn by trial and error [as modifier]: analyses conducted on a trial-and-error basis
More example sentences
  • Others find the process to be one of trial and error, until they stumble upon one that fits.
  • When her judgement failed, she had tried an elaborate process of trial and error.
  • I went through a process of trial and error and found that with either drive plugged in, it wouldn't start up.

Origin

late Middle English (as a noun): from Anglo-Norman French, or from medieval Latin triallum. The verb dates from the 1980s.

More definitions of trial

Definition of trial in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
noun
used to address an English nobleman