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crucible

Syllabification: cru·ci·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈkro͞osəb(ə)l
 
/

Definition of crucible in English:

noun

1A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures.
Example sentences
  • Molten magnesium does not attack iron in the same way as molten aluminum, and the metal can therefore be melted and held at temperature in crucibles fabricated from ferrous materials.
  • Platinum crucibles are used to melt high-quality optical glass and to grow crystals for computer chips and lasers.
  • Thousands of stone hammers, anvils, crucibles, metal objects, and pieces of ancient metallurgical debris were also recovered.
1.1A place or occasion of severe test or trial: the crucible of combat
More example sentences
  • I recall a lecturer in my first week at university saying we students shouldn't be afraid of airing theories, no matter how weird or fantastical, because they should be brought into the open and tested in the crucible of debate.
  • All of my friendships were tested in the crucible of those terrible days when we first discovered and began to deal with my daughter's illness.
  • The young men and women who have been through the crucible of combat - often on repeated deployments - are hardly naive.
1.2A place or situation in which different elements interact to produce something new: the crucible of the new Romantic movement
More example sentences
  • We were at Greenwich Village at the time of the wonderful crucible of creative alteration of the nation.
  • The 5th-century BCE context nevertheless was the crucible in which the ideas and approaches of many different schools of thought were clearly formulated and established in relation to one another.
  • For instance, wetlands that exist between the ocean and the land are fertile crucibles whose extraordinary biodiversity leads to natural evolutions that are crucial to the viability and ongoing evolution of the larger systems.

Origin

late Middle English: from medieval Latin crucibulum 'night lamp, crucible' (perhaps originally a lamp hanging in front of a crucifix), from Latin crux, cruc- 'cross'.

More
  • cross from (Old English):

    The word cross was initially used in English to refer to a monument in the form of a cross. The source is Old Norse kross, which in turn goes back to crux, a Latin word that gave us crucial, crucible (Late Middle English) originally a night light or the sort that might be hung in front of a crucifix (Middle English), and excruciating.

    People cross their fingers to ward off bad luck. What they are doing is making a miniature ‘sign of the cross’, whether they know it or not. To cross someone's palm with silver is to pay them for a favour or service. It probably comes from the idea of tracing the shape of a cross on a fortune-teller's palm with a silver coin before you are told what the future has in store.

    In 49 bc Julius Caesar, having defeated the Gauls, brought his army south to fight a civil war against Pompey and the Roman Senate. When he crossed the Rubicon, a small river marking the boundary between Italy and the Roman province of Gaul, he was committed to war, having broken the law forbidding him to take his troops out of his province. Cross meaning ‘annoyed’ dates back to the 17th century. It derives from the nautical idea of a wind blowing across the bow of your ship rather than from behind, which produced the senses ‘contrary, opposing’, and ‘adverse, opposed’, and then ‘annoyed, bad-tempered’. Crosspatch (early 18th century) is based on the obsolete word patch meaning ‘fool, clown’, perhaps from Italian pazzo ‘madman’.

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Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something