a. A portion, piece, or segment that is representative of a whole: showed samples of a new stretch fabric.
b. A specimen taken for analysis or testing: a blood sample; a water sample.
2. Statistics A set of data or elements drawn from a larger population and analyzed to estimate the characteristics of that population. Also called sampling.
a. A usually digitized audio segment taken from an original recording and inserted, often repetitively, in a new recording.
b. One of a series of pieces of data representing a digitized approximation of an analog signal.
tr.v. sam·pled, sam·pling, sam·ples
1. To take a sample of, especially to test or examine by a sample: the restaurant critic who must sample a little of everything.
a. To use or incorporate (an audio segment of an original recording) in a new recording: a song that samples the bassline of a 1970s disco tune.
b. To represent the value of (an analog signal) at a particular point in time by means of a piece of digital data.
Serving as a representative or example: sample test questions; a sample piece of fabric.
[Partly Middle English (from Anglo-Norman) and partly short for Middle English ensample (from Anglo-Norman), both from Latin exemplum; see EXAMPLE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.