verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Nearby words

  1. tesseract,
  2. tesserae,
  3. tessie,
  4. tessin,
  5. tessitura,
  6. test act,
  7. test ban,
  8. test blank,
  9. test card,
  10. test case

Origin of test

1350–1400; Middle English: cupel < Middle French < Latin testū, testum earthen pot; akin to test2

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See trial.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for testing

British Dictionary definitions for testing




to ascertain (the worth, capability, or endurance) of (a person or thing) by subjection to certain examinations; try
(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 propertyto test food for arsenic; to test for magnetization
(intr) to achieve a specified result in a testa quarter of the patients at the clinic tested positive for the AIDS virus
(tr) to put under severe strainthe long delay tested my patience
test the water to make an exploratory or initial approach; sound out


a method, practice, or examination designed to test a person or thing
a series of questions or problems designed to test a specific skill or knowledgean intelligence test
a standard of judgment; criterion
  1. a chemical reaction or physical procedure for testing a substance, material, etc
  2. a chemical reagent used in such a procedurelitmus is a test for acids
  3. the result of the procedure or the evidence gained from itthe test for alcohol was positive
sport See test match
archaic a declaration or confirmation of truth, loyalty, etc; oath
(modifier) performed as a testtest drive; test flight
Derived Formstestable, adjectivetestability, nountesting, adjective

Word Origin for test

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




the hard or tough outer covering of certain invertebrates and tunicates
a variant of testa

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for testing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for testing




A procedure for critical evaluation; a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something; an examination, or experiment.
A physical or chemical change by which a substance may be detected or its properties ascertained.
A reagent used to cause or promote such a change.


To subject to a test; try.
To determine the presence or properties of a substance.
To administer a test.
To exhibit a given characteristic when subjected to a test.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with testing


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.