1 noun
1 KNOWLEDGE/SKILL (U) knowledge or skill gained while doing a job
(+ in): Karl has considerable experience in modern methods of diagnosis. | political/teaching/computing etc experience: The job requires no secretarial experience. | previous experience: The interviewer asked if I had any previous experience. | lack of experience: He didn't get the post, due to lack of experience. | get/gain experience: Fran is gaining valuable experience working for her father's firm. | practical experience (=experience gained by actually doing something, rather than knowledge from books etc): good judgements based on sound practical experience | have experience on your side (=have an advantage over other people because you know more about a particular thing than they do or have been doing it for longer): Sampras is a skilful player, but Becker has experience on his side. | first-hand experience of (=experience gained by actually doing something): Kevin has first-hand experience of living in Italy.
2 OF LIFE (U) the state of knowing, or having learnt a lot, about life and the world from events that have happened to you and people you have met: in your experience: In my experience, these things never last very long. | past/personal experience: Past experience told her that none of the students would have prepared the lesson. | know from bitter experience (=know what is likely to happen in a particular situation because you have learned from unpleasant or difficult experiences): Rita knew from bitter experience not to rely on Martin in a crisis. | learn from (your) experience: There's no point telling teenagers anything - you just have to let them learn from their experience. | experience shows that...: Experience shows that staff respond very well to a more consultative approach.
3 STH THAT HAPPENS (C) something that happens to you or something you do, especially when this affects or influences you in some way: childhood experiences
(+ of/with): This was my first experience of living with other people. (+ for): Failing an exam was a new experience for me. | a bad/strange/dreadful experience: It was a strange experience to see my father being taken to hospital on a stretcher. | a memorable/unforgettable etc experience: Reaching the top of Mt Whitney was an unforgettable experience. | quite an experience (=very interesting, exciting etc): Parachuting is quite an experience, let me tell you. | religious experience (=a situation in which you feel, hear, or see something that affects you strongly and makes you believe in God): She claimed to have had some sort of religious experience while in Africa.
4 the black/female/Russian etc experience (U) events or knowledge shared by the members of a particular society or group of people: No writer has ever expressed the black experience with such passion as Toni Morisson.
5 work experience
a) a system in which a student can work for a company in order to learn about a job
b) the period of time during which a student does this: Ella is about to do work experience with a clothing manufacturer.
2 verb (T)
1 if you experience a problem or situation, it happens to you or affects you: Children need to experience things for themselves in order to learn from them. | Germany experienced a period of enormous growth in the 60s. | experience sth at first hand (=know about something because it has affected your directly, rather than just reading or hearing about it): During the war they experienced at first hand the horror of night bombing raids.
2 to feel a particular emotion or physical sensation: Many women experience feelings of nausea during pregnancy.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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