[ lab-ruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, lab-er-uh-; British luh-bor-uh-tuh-ree, -uh-tree ]
/ ˈlæb rəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈlæb ər ə-; British ləˈbɒr ə tə ri, -ə tri /

noun, plural lab·o·ra·to·ries.

a building, part of a building, or other place equipped to conduct scientific experiments, tests, investigations, etc., or to manufacture chemicals, medicines, or the like.
any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive to experimentation, investigation, observation, etc.; anything suggestive of a scientific laboratory.


serving a function in a laboratory.
relating to techniques of work in a laboratory: laboratory methods; laboratory research.

Origin of laboratory

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin labōrātōrium workshop, equivalent to Latin labōrā(re) to labor + -tōrium -tory2


lab·o·ra·to·ri·al, adjective lab·o·ra·to·ri·al·ly, adverb lab·o·ra·to·ri·an, noun in·ter·lab·o·ra·to·ry, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for laboratory

British Dictionary definitions for laboratory

/ (ləˈbɒrətərɪ, -trɪ, US ˈlæbrəˌtɔːrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

  1. a building or room equipped for conducting scientific research or for teaching practical science
  2. (as modifier)laboratory equipment
a place where chemicals or medicines are manufactured
Often shortened to: lab

Word Origin for laboratory

C17: from Medieval Latin labōrātōrium workshop, from Latin labōrāre to labour

Medical definitions for laboratory

[ lăbrə-tôr′ē ]


A room or building equipped for scientific research.
A place where drugs and chemicals are manufactured.
A place for practice, observation, or testing.