1. The apprehension of an object, thought, or emotion through the senses or mind: a child's first experience of snow.
a. 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.
b. The knowledge or skill so derived.
a. An event or a series of events participated in or lived through.
b. The totality of such events in the past of an individual or group.
tr.v. ex·per·i·enced, ex·per·i·enc·ing, ex·per·i·enc·es
To participate in personally; undergo: experience a great adventure; experienced loneliness.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin experientia, from experiēns, experient-, present participle of experīrī, to try; see per-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.