acid test


a severe and conclusive test to establish quality, genuineness, worth, etc.

Nearby words

  1. acid rock,
  2. acid salt,
  3. acid soil,
  4. acid stain,
  5. acid sulfate,
  6. acid test ratio,
  7. acid tide,
  8. acid trip,
  9. acid washing,
  10. acid-ash diet

Origin of acid test

First recorded in 1890–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acid test

  • They are the acid-test, by which the presence of empire may be determined.

    The American Empire|Scott Nearing

British Dictionary definitions for acid test

acid test


a rigorous and conclusive test to establish worth or valuethe play passed the critic's acid test

Word Origin for acid test

C19: from the testing of gold with nitric acid

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

Idioms and Phrases with acid test

acid test

A decisive trial to determine worth or quality, as in Exposure to brilliant sunlight is the acid test for showing this fabric won't fade. Alluding to a 19th-century chemical test for distinguishing gold from other metals, this term was used figuratively by the early 1900s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.