Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] sample pronunciation in British English /ˈsɑːmp(ə)l/ 
Word Forms

Related meanings

  1. 1
    an example or small amount of something that shows you what all of it is like
    sample of:

    I took home some samples of curtain fabrics.

    We had to bring some samples of our work to the interview.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of sample
    1. a.
      a small amount of a product that is given to people to try
      free sample:

      They gave me loads of free samples of their make-up.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of sample
    2. b.
      [only before noun] made as a sample

      a booklet that gives some sample examination questions

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of sample
  2. 2
    a small amount of a substance that is used for scientific or medical tests

    Tests were performed on hair and blood samples.

    take/collect/obtain a sample:

    Researchers are taking samples of the air close to the factory.

    1. a.
      a group of people who are used for getting information about a larger group or about the whole population

      After six weeks on the drug, over 60% of the sample showed some improvement.

      The reliability of the results depends on the size of the sample.

      random sample (=chosen without any definite pattern or plan):

      The study took a random sample of 100 students from 3 schools.


web content which is specifically intended to make Facebook users click the 'Like' button associated with it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog