- a test or criterion for the qualities of a thing.
- a black siliceous stone formerly used to test the purity of gold and silver by the color of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal.
Origin of touchstone
SynonymsSee more synonyms for touchstone on Thesaurus.com
1. standard, measure, model, pattern.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for touchstone
When we were taping the premiere, he was the touchstone in my head of, “Am I working hard enough?”John Oliver on ‘Last Week Tonight,’ Turning Down CBS, and ‘Nauseating’ American Politics
May 1, 2014
On this, and on the variations of pain, you mentioned a passage in War and Peace that was a kind of touchstone.Susan Minot on Africa, Joseph Kony, and the Limits of Writing About Love
February 10, 2014
Hating what the Wall has become is a touchstone of identity.Women: Talk To The Wall
June 14, 2013
Published by Touchstone Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.Inside Tania Head’s Terrible 9/11 Lie: ‘The Woman Who Wasn’t There’
Robin Gaby Fisher, Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr.
April 6, 2012
He is, instead, excavating the origins of a touchstone of the contemporary political debate.John Sayles Declares His Independence
May 9, 2011
Fictions or realities, could they survive the touchstone of this atom of common sense?The Uncommercial Traveller
Descartes therefore made evidence the touchstone of certainty.Initiation into Philosophy
I shall have a double respect for his opinion, for this is the touchstone of a man's honesty.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
For Vere's eyes were surely a touchstone to discover honesty.A Spirit in Prison
The answer does not satisfy Socrates, who fears that he is losing his touchstone.Gorgias
- a criterion or standard by which judgment is made
- a hard dark siliceous stone, such as basalt or jasper, that is used to test the quality of gold and silver from the colour of the streak they produce on it
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 touchstone
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper