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.
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.
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.
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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus