Test Test, n. [OE. test test, or cupel, potsherd, F. t[^e]t, from L. testum an earthen vessel; akin to testa a piece of burned clay, an earthen pot, a potsherd, perhaps for tersta, and akin to torrere to patch, terra earth (cf. {Thirst}, and {Terrace}), but cf. Zend tasta cup. Cf. {Test} a shell, {Testaceous}, {Tester} a covering, a coin, {Testy}, {T[^e]te-[`a]-t[^e]te}.] 1. (Metal.) A cupel or cupelling hearth in which precious metals are melted for trial and refinement. [1913 Webster]

Our ingots, tests, and many mo. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. Examination or trial by the cupel; hence, any critical examination or decisive trial; as, to put a man's assertions to a test. ``Bring me to the test.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Means of trial; as, absence is a test of love. [1913 Webster]

Each test every light her muse will bear. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. That with which anything is compared for proof of its genuineness; a touchstone; a standard. [1913 Webster]

Life, force, and beauty must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

5. Discriminative characteristic; standard of judgment; ground of admission or exclusion. [1913 Webster]

Our test excludes your tribe from benefit. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

6. Judgment; distinction; discrimination. [1913 Webster]

Who would excel, when few can make a test Betwixt indifferent writing and the best? --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

7. (Chem.) A reaction employed to recognize or distinguish any particular substance or constituent of a compound, as the production of some characteristic precipitate; also, the reagent employed to produce such reaction; thus, the ordinary test for sulphuric acid is the production of a white insoluble precipitate of barium sulphate by means of some soluble barium salt. [1913 Webster]

8. A set of questions to be answered or problems to be solved, used as a means to measure a person's knowledge, aptitude, skill, intelligence, etc.; in school settings, synonymous with {examination} or {exam}; as, an intelligence test. Also used attributively; as a test score, test results. [PJC]

{Test act} (Eng. Law), an act of the English Parliament prescribing a form of oath and declaration against transubstantiation, which all officers, civil and military, were formerly obliged to take within six months after their admission to office. They were obliged also to receive the sacrament according to the usage of the Church of England. --Blackstone.

{Test object} (Optics), an object which tests the power or quality of a microscope or telescope, by requiring a certain degree of excellence in the instrument to determine its existence or its peculiar texture or markings.

{Test paper}. (a) (Chem.) Paper prepared for use in testing for certain substances by being saturated with a reagent which changes color in some specific way when acted upon by those substances; thus, litmus paper is turned red by acids, and blue by alkalies, turmeric paper is turned brown by alkalies, etc. (b) (Law) An instrument admitted as a standard or comparison of handwriting in those jurisdictions in which comparison of hands is permitted as a mode of proving handwriting.

{Test tube}. (Chem.) (a) A simple tube of thin glass, closed at one end, for heating solutions and for performing ordinary reactions. (b) A graduated tube. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Criterion; standard; experience; proof; experiment; trial.

Usage: {Test}, {Trial}. Trial is the wider term; test is a searching and decisive trial. It is derived from the Latin testa (earthen pot), which term was early applied to the fining pot, or crucible, in which metals are melted for trial and refinement. Hence the peculiar force of the word, as indicating a trial or criterion of the most decisive kind. [1913 Webster]

I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commediation. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, Like purest gold, that tortured in the furnace, Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its weight. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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