[ test ]
See synonyms for test on Thesaurus.com
  1. the means by which the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined; a means of trial.

  2. the trial of the quality of something: to put to the test.

  1. a particular process or method for trying or assessing.

  2. a set of questions, problems, or the like, used as a means of evaluating the abilities, aptitudes, skills, or performance of an individual or group; examination.

  3. Psychology. a set of standardized questions, problems, or tasks designed to elicit responses for use in measuring the traits, capacities, or achievements of an individual.

  4. Chemistry.

    • the process of identifying or detecting the presence of a constituent of a substance, or of determining the nature of a substance, commonly by the addition of a reagent.

    • the reagent used.

    • an indication or evidence of the presence of a constituent, or of the nature of a substance, obtained by such means.

  5. an oath or other confirmation of one's loyalty, religious beliefs, etc.

  6. British. a cupel for refining or assaying metals.

verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to a test of any kind; try.

  2. Chemistry. to subject to a chemical test.

  1. Metallurgy. to assay or refine in a cupel.

verb (used without object)
  1. to undergo a test or trial; try out.

  2. to perform on a test: People test better in a relaxed environment.

  1. to conduct a test: to test for diabetes.

Origin of test

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English: test(e), tast(e) “crucible; cupel,” from Old French “test, teste,” Latin testū, testum “earthenware pot”; akin to test2

synonym study For test

1. See trial.

Other words for test

Other words from test

  • test·a·ble, adjective
  • test·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • test·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·test·a·ble, adjective
  • non·test·ing, adjective
  • self-testing, adjective
  • un·test·a·ble, adjective
  • un·test·ed, adjective
  • well-tested, adjective

Other definitions for test (2 of 4)

[ test ]

  1. Zoology. the hard, protective shell or covering of certain invertebrates, as echinoderms or tunicates.

  2. Botany. testa.

Origin of test

First recorded in 1840–45; from Latin testa “tile, shell, covering”; akin to test1

Other definitions for test. (3 of 4)


  1. testator.

  2. testimony.

Other definitions for Test. (4 of 4)


  1. Testament.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use test in a sentence

  • For this use of the voice in the special service of will-power, or propelling force, it is necessary first to test its freedom.

    Expressive Voice Culture | Jessie Eldridge Southwick
  • The most promising of the methods which have been devised are cryoscopy, the methylene-blue test, and the phloridzin test.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • The phloridzin test consists in the hypodermic injection of a small quantity of phloridzin.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Should the vapor not condense well, the test-tube may be immersed in a glass of cold water.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • It is at best an empirical test and must be interpreted in the light of clinical symptoms.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd

British Dictionary definitions for test (1 of 2)


/ (tɛst) /

  1. to ascertain (the worth, capability, or endurance) of (a person or thing) by subjection to certain examinations; try

  2. (often foll by for) to carry out an examination on (a substance, material, or system) by applying some chemical or physical procedure designed to indicate the presence of a substance or the possession of a property: to test food for arsenic; to test for magnetization

  1. (intr) to achieve a specified result in a test: a quarter of the patients at the clinic tested positive for the AIDS virus

  2. (tr) to put under severe strain: the long delay tested my patience

  3. test the water to make an exploratory or initial approach; sound out

  1. a method, practice, or examination designed to test a person or thing

  2. a series of questions or problems designed to test a specific skill or knowledge: an intelligence test

  1. a standard of judgment; criterion

    • a chemical reaction or physical procedure for testing a substance, material, etc

    • a chemical reagent used in such a procedure: litmus is a test for acids

    • the result of the procedure or the evidence gained from it: the test for alcohol was positive

  2. sport See test match

  3. archaic a declaration or confirmation of truth, loyalty, etc; oath

  4. (modifier) performed as a test: test drive; test flight

Origin of test

C14 (in the sense: vessel used in treating metals): from Latin testum earthen vessel

Derived forms of test

  • testable, adjective
  • testability, noun
  • testing, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for test (2 of 2)


/ (tɛst) /

  1. the hard or tough outer covering of certain invertebrates and tunicates

  2. a variant of testa

Origin of test

C19: from Latin testa shell

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with test


see acid test; put to the test.

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