1. One who is employed to take and appraise samples, as of a food product.
2. A mechanical device that is used to obtain and analyze samples.
3. A decorative piece of cloth embroidered with various designs or mottoes in a variety of stitches, serving as an example of skill at needlework.
a. A representative collection or selection: a sampler of American short-story writers.
b. A variety; an assortment.
5. An electronic device used to copy and digitally manipulate a segment from an audio recording for use in a new recording.
[Senses 3 and 4, partly Middle English, model (from Anglo-Norman *essamplur) and partly short for Middle English ensampler (from Anglo-Norman ensamplour), both from Late Latin exemplārium, model, copy, from Latin, copy; see EXEMPLAR.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.