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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use touchstone in a sentence
These touchstones are summoned fleetingly in the streams of poetic consciousness that are Kennedy’s lovely hallmark.Adrienne Kennedy’s new play, ‘Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side,’ is utterly unique | Peter Marks | January 14, 2021 | Washington Post
Across the ideological spectrum, inflamed citizens are seeking solace and inspiration, and have held up the beloved superhero as a touchstone for their own values — and their very different views of what America should be.Can Captain America serve two dramatically different versions of America? | Aja Romano | January 12, 2021 | Vox
The photographs become touchstones for a family’s own experience and their own feelings.Chrissy Teigen and John Legend publicly grieve the death of baby Jack | Ellen McGirt | October 1, 2020 | Fortune
There could be many years of hopes and dreams for this baby’s existence, and to not have evidence—I use the term touchstones.Chrissy Teigen and John Legend publicly grieve the death of baby Jack | Ellen McGirt | October 1, 2020 | Fortune
This year…it is palpable how much privacy and concerns about data are becoming one of the real touchstones that are differentiating various tech companies.Cloudflare’s privacy crusade continues with a challenge to one of Google’s big data sources | David Meyer | September 29, 2020 | Fortune
And then there are the five-times-a-week regulars for whom The Cottage is a culinary touchstone.
Since 1977, Star Wars has been an essential touchstone for both Povenmire and Marsh.‘Phineas and Ferb’ Pilot Disney’s Premier Voyage into ‘Star Wars’ | Jason Lynch | July 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Marlow Stern | May 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Lea Carpenter | February 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Hating what the Wall has become is a touchstone of identity.
Of a certain knight,” returns touchstone, “who swore by his honour they were good pancakes.A Cursory History of Swearing | Julian Sharman
Both men had bitter hearts, for both knew well that the touchstone of this malice was Madame Chalice.When Valmond Came to Pontiac, Complete | Gilbert Parker
Nash was an ambiguous character but an excellent touchstone.The Tragic Muse | Henry James
The shepherd in the play, when asked by touchstone, "Hast any philosophy in thee?"The Contemporary Review, January 1883 | Various
This is the true touchstone of all theories which regard man and the affairs of men: Does it suit his nature in general?Thoughts on the Present Discontents | Edmund Burke
British Dictionary definitions for touchstone
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