There are 2 definitions of test in English:


Line breaks: test
Pronunciation: /tɛst


1A procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use: both countries carried out nuclear tests in May [mass noun]: four fax modems are on test
More example sentences
  • Indeed, many of the assemblies have already passed reliability and quality tests needed to achieve FDA approval.
  • All their Mercedes Benz engine parts have passed rigid quality tests for durability and performance as well as all the other car parts.
  • On test there was certainly very little buffeting or wind noise.
1.1A short written or spoken examination of a person’s proficiency or knowledge: a spelling test
More example sentences
  • Written tests can assess knowledge acquisition and reasoning ability, but they cannot so easily measure skills
  • I paid close attention to everything he said, but still came up short on tests and quizzes.
  • We asked the parliamentary candidates for Wimbledon to tell us a bit about themselves and then we subjected them to a test of their knowledge of their area.
exam, examination; paper, set of questions; North Americanquiz
1.2An event or situation that reveals the strength or quality of someone or something by putting them under strain: this is the first serious test of the peace agreement
More example sentences
  • Thus a potentially useful bargain spawned a serious crisis and test of strength and will between opposed alliance systems.
  • In fact, he usually finished last in training camp endurance and strength tests.
  • Since the beast was invincible by arrow or club the contest was a test of physical strength and endurance.
1.3An examination of part of the body or a body fluid for medical purposes, especially by means of a chemical or mechanical procedure rather than simple inspection: a test for HIV eye tests
More example sentences
  • After an ultrasound test and a physical examination, ovarian cancer was diagnosed.
  • The initial investigations are a sensitive pregnancy test and ultrasonography.
  • The thyroid gland itself may be checked using a test called scintigraphy.
1.4 Chemistry A procedure employed to identify a substance or to reveal the presence or absence of a constituent within a substance.
More example sentences
  • To identify the presence of a ketone functional group several tests must be carried out.
  • The new test can identify the presence of anthrax in less than one hour instead of days.
  • One test for the presence of silver ions in solution is to add chloride ions to the solution.
1.5The result of a medical examination or analytical procedure: a positive test for protein
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, there may be potential adverse psychological effects from a positive test.
  • Potential harms from screening include the consequences of false positive tests, but evidence regarding these is lacking.
  • All patients were atopic, as defined by two or more positive skin prick tests to common allergens.
1.6A means of establishing whether an action, item, or situation is an instance of a specified quality, especially one held to be undesirable: a statutory test of obscenity
More example sentences
  • Research is needed to establish whether computerised tests of vigilance are useful predictors of safety at the wheel in people with narcolepsy.
  • They found that in control subjects, larger caudate nucleus areas were associated with a worse performance on tests of attention.
criterion, proof, indication, yardstick, touchstone, standard, measure, litmus test, barometer
2 (Test) short for Test match. the first Test against New Zealand
More example sentences
  • The Test also marks the return of Brian Lara, who was rested for the one-day series.
  • Can you give some more details of the innings when Don Bradman made 300 in a day in a Test?
  • The contracts were signed by the players on the opening day of the first Test against West Indies.
3 Metallurgy A movable hearth in a reverberating furnace, used for separating gold or silver from lead.
More example sentences
  • When fully prepared, the test is allowed to dry, and is then placed in a furnace, constructed in all respects like a common reverberator)' furnace, except that a space is left open in the bed of it to receive the test, and that the width of the arch is much reduced.
  • The test, when placed in position, forms the bed of the furnace, with the long diameter transversely.
  • When introducing a fresh cupel or test, the fire must be low and heat must be applied with great caution, or otherwise the bone ash will split to pieces; and for the same reason the bone ash must be dried very gently.


[with object] Back to top  
1Take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice: this range has not been tested on animals several trial runs were carried out to test the special brakes
More example sentences
  • The accuracy of electronic voting can be tested by comparing paper records to digital votes but not to recount an entire election.
  • Mr Littleboy said his water supply was regularly tested and the most recent screening in the spring had shown no pollution.
  • Cosmetics are tested on animals to check if a product such as shampoo may work on a human with no harmful effects.
try out, trial, carry out trials on, put to the test, put through its paces, experiment with, pilot; check, examine, assess, evaluate, appraise, investigate, analyse, scrutinize, study, probe, explore; sample; screen
technical assay
1.1Give (someone) a short written or oral examination of their proficiency or knowledge: all children are tested at eleven
More example sentences
  • I now know to read my lecture notes soon after writing them, again a few days later then yet again before I am tested on this knowledge.
  • The Bishop came to test us on our knowledge and woe betide the boy who failed to give an instant answer to his theological queries.
  • Nor is he merely sight-reading based on familiarity, as he was tested by writing down some simple phrases which he could not have known in advance.
1.2Judge or measure (someone’s proficiency or knowledge) by means of a test: the exam will test accuracy and neatness
More example sentences
  • The exam tested the basic knowledge and skills students acquired by the end of a two-year professional nursing program.
  • The contestants took a multiple-choice exam testing their knowledge of the subject.
  • Game booths tested skeptical skills and knowledge.
1.3Reveal the strengths or capabilities of (someone or something) by putting them under strain: such behaviour would severely test any marriage
More example sentences
  • It pointed out that a number of small fires at the centre had ‘severely tested the fire response capability’ there.
  • I grabbed it, presuming he was testing it for strength.
  • You should inquire about testing her for her strengths.
1.4Carry out a medical test on (a person, a part of the body, or a body fluid): he’s been tested for drugs
More example sentences
  • Fetal cells contained in the amniotic fluid will be tested for Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Their blood serum was tested for traces of antibodies against the influenza virus.
  • Before a transfusion, the donated blood is tested for infectious diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.
1.5 [no object, with complement] Produce a specified result in a medical test, especially a drugs test or AIDS test: he tested positive for steroids during the race
More example sentences
  • Figures provided by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety show that 48 drivers tested positive for the drug last year.
  • For most of the drugs, only about half the people who tested positive admitted using drugs.
  • Arrestees who tested positive for at least one drug were significantly more likely to have had a prior arrest as compared to arrestees who did not test positive for drugs.
1.6 Chemistry Examine (a substance) by means of a reagent.
More example sentences
  • The cells were also tested with nitrogen dioxide, a by-product of gas cooking, which may reach levels of 1000 parts per billion or more in kitchens.
  • But CAA spokesman Bill Sommer said until a sample of the green and brown substance had been tested it was impossible to tell if it was from an aircraft or some other source.
  • To avoid these troubles, the substrate must be tested for alkalinity, water vapor and moisture emission.
1.7Touch or taste (something) to check that it is acceptable before proceeding further: she tested the water with the tip of her elbow
More example sentences
  • Using the same pan, fry a small patty of the meat mixture and taste to test the seasoning.
  • He bit his food and chewed, testing the texture and taste.
  • The contest is arranged in collaboration with the Institute of Hotel Management and the dishes would be tested for authentic French taste.


late Middle English (denoting a cupel used to treat gold or silver alloys or ore): via Old French from Latin testu, testum 'earthen pot', variant of testa 'jug, shell'. Compare with test2. The verb dates from the early 17th century.


put someone/thing to the test

Find out how useful, strong, or effective someone or something is: complementary medicines should be put to the test in the same way as conventional medicines
More example sentences
  • I would like to see properly controlled studies where herbal remedies are put to the test.
  • We currently have three to four first-year players on the court at any one time, putting our limited experience to the test.
  • They say laughter is the best medicine and therapists are putting this theory to the test at a laughter workshop being held in Billericay on Saturday.

stand the test of time

Last or remain popular for a long time.
More example sentences
  • At a time when the world is changing quickly and we are moving ever faster to keep up with the flux, it's refreshing to know that some things stand the test of time and remain unchanged by it.
  • Majestic and imposing, the monuments have stood the test of time, witness to the ebb and flow of social and political life in the capital.
  • Children from a Horwich primary school danced around the Maypole - maintaining a tradition which has stood the test of time.

test the water

Judge people’s feelings or opinions before taking further action.
More example sentences
  • Susie Rae, of Ski Scotland, said: ‘We have limited the tickets because we are just testing the water to see if there is a demand out there.’
  • We have a few thoughts about where he could be moved to but the proceedings are at a very early stage and we are effectively testing the water.
  • A multinational company and a landowner have been testing the water on plans to bring a £100 million development to the area.



Pronunciation: /-əˈbɪlɪti/
More example sentences
  • ‘The criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability,’ wrote Popper in Conjectures and Refutations in 1963.
  • The project shall ensure that each software requirement be evaluated for accuracy, completeness, consistency, testability, correctness, and clarity.
  • If it is agreed that one of the greatest attributes of science is testability through prediction, the application of Occam's razor often makes such testing possible.


More example sentences
  • Scientific theories are testable and once the scientific theory has been tested over time, it becomes accepted into the body of knowledge.
  • The big bang model has produced a number of testable predictions.
  • If an idea is testable and falsifiable, then it still must be tested, by attempting to falsify it in most cases.


Pronunciation: /tɛsˈtiː/
More example sentences
  • At a TV quiz last weekend, testees were asked where was the biggest McDonald's franchise in the world before 1992: Chicago, Tokyo, or Beijing.
  • I agree, though, that the test is fairly obviously rigged to move testees in a left-libertarian direction scorewise.
  • First, the questions were ‘inane,’ then it turned out many testees had been tipped off to the answers.

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Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
lack of modesty

There are 2 definitions of test in English:


Line breaks: test
Pronunciation: /tɛst


The shell or integument of some invertebrates and protozoans, especially the chalky shell of a foraminiferan or the tough outer layer of a tunicate.
More example sentences
  • The tests of the shells are recrystallized, but the original ornamentation is preserved in very good detail.
  • From such studies as those of Be and Spero and Wilde, we know that foraminifera sometimes regenerate their tests after injury.
  • Although phylogenetic tests in ostracods are relatively clear, morphological evidence is somewhat ambiguous.


mid 19th century: from Latin testa 'tile, jug, shell'. Compare with test1.

Definition of test in: