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sam·ple (sămpəl)
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n.
1.
a. A portion, piece, or segment that is representative of a whole: showed samples of a new stretch fabric.
b. A specimen taken for analysis or testing: a blood sample; a water sample.
2. Statistics A set of data or elements drawn from a larger population and analyzed to estimate the characteristics of that population. Also called sampling.
3.
a. A usually digitized audio segment taken from an original recording and inserted, often repetitively, in a new recording.
b. One of a series of pieces of data representing a digitized approximation of an analog signal.
tr.v. sam·pled, sam·pling, sam·ples
1. To take a sample of, especially to test or examine by a sample: the restaurant critic who must sample a little of everything.
2.
a. To use or incorporate (an audio segment of an original recording) in a new recording: a song that samples the bassline of a 1970s disco tune.
b. To represent the value of (an analog signal) at a particular point in time by means of a piece of digital data.
adj.
Serving as a representative or example: sample test questions; a sample piece of fabric.

[Partly Middle English (from Anglo-Norman) and partly short for Middle English ensample (from Anglo-Norman), both from Latin exemplum; see EXAMPLE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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