American English

Definition of experience noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] the knowledge and skill that you have gained through doing something for a period of time; the process of gaining this to have more than ten years of teaching experience Do you have any previous experience with this type of work? a doctor with experience in dealing with patients suffering from stress My lack of practical experience was a disadvantage. She didn't get paid much, but it was all good experience. He gained valuable experience while working on the project. We all learn by experience. see also work experience
  2. 2[uncountable] the things that have happened to you that influence the way you think and behave Experience has taught me that life can be very unfair. It is important to try and learn from experience. In my experience, very few people really understand the problem. She knew from past experience that Ann would not give up easily. The book is based on personal experience. direct/first-hand experience of poverty
  3. 3[countable] an event or activity that affects you in some way an enjoyable/exciting/unusual/unforgettable, etc. experience experience (of something) It was her first experience of living alone. Living in Africa was very different from home and quite an experience (= unusual for us). I had a bad experience with fireworks once. He seems to have had some sort of religious experience.
  4. 4the… experience [singular] events or knowledge shared by all the members of a particular group in society, that influences the way they think and behave musical forms like jazz that emerged out of the Black American experience
  5. Idioms
    put something down to experience (also chalk something up to experience)
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    used to say that someone should think of a failure as being something that they can learn from We lost a lot of money, but we just chalked it up to experience.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: experience