Laboratory Lab"o*ra*to*ry, n.; pl. {Laboratories}. [Shortened fr. elaboratory; cf. OF. elaboratoire, F. laboratoire. See {Elaborate}, {Labor.}] [Formerly written also {elaboratory}.] 1. The workroom of a chemist; also, a place devoted to experiments in any branch of natural science; as, a chemical, physical, or biological laboratory. Hence, by extension, a place where something is prepared, or some operation is performed; as, the liver is the laboratory of the bile. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: Any place, activity or situation suggestive of a scientific laboratory[1], especially in being conducive to learning new facts by experimentation or by systematic observation; as, the states serve as laboratories where different new policies may be tested prior to adoption throughout the country. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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