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trial - definition and synonyms


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noun trial pronunciation in British English /ˈtraɪəl/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] legal the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone is guilty or innocent. When a case comes to trial, it is brought to a court and the person who has been accused of a crime stands trial (=appears in court)
    on trial (for something): They’re on trial for armed robbery.
    trial on: He remains in prison awaiting trial on major fraud charges.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] the process of testing a product, plan, or person over a period of time
    The drug is now undergoing clinical trials.
    a trial period: The system will operate for a six-month trial period.
    a trial basis: We’ve installed the new system on a trial basis.
    a trial separation (=when a married couple decide to live apart for a short time): She wanted a trial separation but he insisted on a divorce.
  3. 3
    [countable] a painful or difficult experience
    She writes about the trials of life on the American frontier.
    1. a.
      [singular] someone who causes problems or is annoying
      The kids can be a bit of a trial at times.
  4. 4
    [countable] [usually plural] a sports competition during which people are tested and chosen for a later competition
    The Olympic trials are to be held next week.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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