[kroo-suh-buh l]


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

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crucible

vessel, pot, container, cauldron

Examples from the Web for crucible

Contemporary Examples of crucible

Historical Examples of crucible

  • 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 for crucible

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

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

crucible in Science



A heat-resistant container used to melt ores, metals, and other materials.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.