trial (n.)

mid-15c., "act or process of testing, a putting to proof by examination, experiment, etc.," from Anglo-French trial, noun formed from trier "to try" (see try (v.)). Sense of "examining and deciding of the issues between parties in a court of law" is first recorded 1570s; extended to any ordeal by 1590s.

As an adjectival phrase, trial-and-error is recorded from 1806. Trial balloon (1826) translates French ballon d'essai, a small balloon sent up immediately before a manned ascent to determine the direction and tendency of winds in the upper air, though the earliest use in English is figurative.

Definitions of trial

trial (n.)
the act of testing something;
in the experimental trials the amount of carbon was measured separately
he called each flip of the coin a new trial
Synonyms: test / run
trial (n.)
trying something to find out about it;
a sample for ten days free trial
a trial of progesterone failed to relieve the pain
Synonyms: trial run / test / tryout
trial (n.)
the act of undergoing testing;
candidates must compete in a trial of skill
Synonyms: test
trial (n.)
(law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law;
most of these complaints are settled before they go to trial
he had a fair trial and the jury found him guilty
trial (n.)
(sports) a preliminary competition to determine qualifications;
the trials for the semifinals began yesterday
trial (n.)
an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event;
his mother-in-law's visits were a great trial for him
Synonyms: tribulation / visitation