Definitions

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

  • n. A portion, piece, or segment that is representative of a whole.
  • n. An entity that is representative of a class; a specimen. See Synonyms at example.
  • n. Statistics A set of elements drawn from and analyzed to estimate the characteristics of a population. Also called sampling.
  • n. A usually digitized audio segment taken from an original recording and inserted, often repetitively, in a new recording.
  • transitive v. To take a sample of, especially to test or examine by a sample: the restaurant critic who must sample a little of everything.
  • transitive v. To use or incorporate (an audio segment of an original recording) in a new recording: a song that samples the bass line of a 1970s disco tune.
  • adj. Serving as a representative or example: sample test questions; a sample piece of fabric.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A part of anything taken or presented for inspection, or shown as evidence of the quality of the whole; a specimen; as, goods are often purchased by samples.
  • n. A subset of a population selected for measurement, observation or questionicommeng, to provide statistical information about the population.
  • n. a small piece of food for tasting, typically given away for free
  • n. a small piece of some goods, for determining quality, colour, etc., typically given away for free
  • n. Gratuitous borrowing of easily recognised phases (or moments) from other music (or movies) in a recording, used to emphasize a particular point by implying a certain context.
  • n. Example; pattern.
  • v. To make or show something similar to; to match.
  • v. To take or to test a sample or samples of; as, to sample sugar, teas, wool, cloth.
  • v. To reduce a continuous signal (such as a sound wave) to a discrete signal.
  • v. To reuse a portion of (an existing sound recording) in a new song.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Example; pattern.
  • n. A part of anything presented for inspection, or shown as evidence of the quality of the whole; a specimen.
  • transitive v. To make or show something similar to; to match.
  • transitive v. To take or to test a sample or samples of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To place side by side with something else closely similar, for the purpose of comparison or illustration.
  • To match; imitate; follow the pattern or method of.
  • To select, or take at random, a sample or specimen of; hence, to try or test by examining or using a specimen or sample: as, to sample sugar or grain; to sample wine.
  • n. Anything selected as a model for imitation; a pattern; an example; an instance.
  • n. A part of anything taken at random out of a large quantity and presented for inspection or intended to be shown as evidence of the quality of the whole; a representative specimen: as, a sample of cloth, of wheat, of spirits, of wines, etc.
  • n. Synonyms Specimen, Sample. See specimen.

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

  • v. take a sample of
  • n. all or part of a natural object that is collected and preserved as an example of its class
  • n. a small part of something intended as representative of the whole
  • n. items selected at random from a population and used to test hypotheses about the population

Etymologies

Partly Middle English (from Anglo-Norman) and partly short for Middle English ensample (from Anglo-Norman), both from Latin exemplum; see example.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English sample, asaumple, Old French essample, example, from Latin exemplum. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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