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[kroo-suh-buh l] /ˈkru sə bəl/
a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
Metallurgy. a hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects.
a severe, searching test or trial.
Origin of crucible
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English crusible, corusible < Medieval Latin crucibulum; compare Anglo-French crusil, Old French croi-suel, croisol night lamp, crucible < Gallo-Romance *croceolus (of uncertain origin), probably Latinized on the model of tūribulum thurible Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crucible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus I was placed in the crucible for further refinement and regeneration.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • Nature put into the crucible of a loving heart becomes poetry.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • But the crucible was no longer—as then of pity; it was the crucible of love.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • The fusion is conducted in a Fletcher's crucible furnace in a clay crucible.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • When fusion is complete, the contents of the crucible are poured into any suitable mould.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
British Dictionary definitions for crucible


a vessel in which substances are heated to high temperatures
the hearth at the bottom of a metallurgical furnace in which the metal collects
a severe trial or test
Word Origin
C15 corusible, from Medieval Latin crūcibulum night lamp, crucible, of uncertain origin


the Crucible, a Sheffield theatre, venue of the annual world professional snooker championship
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crucible

early 15c., from Medieval Latin crucibulum "melting pot for metals," originally "night lamp." First element might be Middle High German kruse "earthen pot." Or perhaps it is from Latin crux on some fancied resemblance to a cross. Used of any severe test or trial since 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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crucible in Science
A heat-resistant container used to melt ores, metals, and other materials.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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