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acid test

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noun
  1. a severe and conclusive test to establish quality, genuineness, worth, etc.
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Origin of acid test

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

analysisexperimentproofsubstantiationtrialgenuinenessverification

Examples from the Web for acid test

Historical Examples

  • 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

noun
  1. a rigorous and conclusive test to establish worth or valuethe play passed the critic's acid test
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Word Origin

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.

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