In The Economist: As face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it:

And a number of British police forces have tested the technology (face-recognition) as a tool of mass surveillance in trials designed to spot criminals on the street.

What is the meaning of the word trial?

My understanding is experiment but it seems that the meaning duplicates with the word test. Now I'm confused.


2 Answers 2


In this context, a trial is a test (in particular, a test for a limited period of time). British police forces have tested facial recognition technology for periods of time to determine whether they can recognise criminals on the street.

Per the Cambridge English Dictionary, "a test, usually over a limited period of time, to discover how effective or suitable something or someone is".


In the context of your quoting it means attempt or effort.

  • 2
    This adds nothing to the existing answer.
    – Chenmunka
    Aug 28, 2019 at 12:24

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