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See also: SAMPLE



From Middle English sample, asaumple, from Old French essample (example), from Latin exemplum.



sample (plural samples)

  1. A part or snippet of something taken or presented for inspection, or shown as evidence of the quality of the whole; a specimen
    a blood sample
  2. (statistics) A subset of a population selected for measurement, observation or questioning, to provide statistical information about the population.
    " is possible it [the Anglo-Saxon race] might stand second to the Scandinavian countries [in average height] if a fair sample of their population were obtained." Francis Galton et al. (1883). Final Report of the Anthropometric Committee, Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 269.
  3. (cooking) A small quantity of food for tasting, typically given away for free.
  4. (business) A small piece of some goods, for determining quality, colour, etc., typically given away for free.
  5. (music) Gratuitous borrowing of easily recognised phases (or moments) from other music (or movies) in a recording.
    • 1 December 2016, Peter Bradshaw writing in The Guardian Blue Velvet review – still inventive, sexy and bizarre
      Jeffrey conceives a fascination with nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) who sings Blue Velvet, while her abusive, misogynist sugar-daddy Frank (Dennis Hopper) watches, caressing a sample of this same material.
  6. (obsolete) Example; pattern.
    • Shakespeare
      a sample to the youngest
    • Fairfax
      Thus he concludes, and every hardy knight / His sample followed.





sample (third-person singular simple present samples, present participle sampling, simple past and past participle sampled)

  1. (transitive) To take or to test a sample or samples of
    • 1895, Frank Richard Stockton, The adventures of Captain Horn Chapter 43
      Mok was enjoying himself very much. It was not often that he had such an opportunity to sample the delights of Paris. His young master, Ralph, had given him strict orders never to go out at night, or in his leisure hours, unless accompanied by Cheditafa.
    • 1893, Mark Twain, The Million Pound Bank Note Chapter 1
      They had just finished their breakfast, and the sight of the remains of it almost overpowered me. I could hardly keep my wits together in the presence of that food, but as I was not asked to sample it, I had to bear my trouble as best I could.
  2. (transitive, signal processing) To reduce a continuous signal (such as a sound wave) to a discrete signal.
  3. (music, transitive) To reuse a portion of (an existing sound recording) in a new piece of music.
  4. (transitive) To make or show something similar to; to match. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)





sample m (plural samples)

  1. (music) sample