trial by fire

A test of one's abilities to perform well under pressure, as in Finishing this buge list of chores in time for the wedding is really a trial by fire. This expression alludes to the medieval practice of determining a person's guilt by having them undergo an ordeal, such as walking barefoot through a fire.


Nearby words

  1. trial,
  2. trial and error,
  3. trial balance,
  4. trial balloon,
  5. trial by battle,
  6. trial court,
  7. trial denture,
  8. trial docket,
  9. trial examiner,
  10. trial frame

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