sample - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  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.

    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.

    2. b.
      [only before noun] made as a sample

      a booklet that gives some sample examination questions

  2. 2
    a small amount of a substance that is used for scientific or medical tests
    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.

  3. 3
    music a short piece of music that is copied from a record, and then used again as part of a new piece of music