Definition of litmus test in English:

Share this entry

litmus test

Pronunciation: /ˈlitməs ˌtest/

noun

Chemistry
1A test for acidity or alkalinity using litmus.
Example sentences
  • He defined the modern idea of an ‘element’, as well as introducing the litmus test to tell acids from bases, and introduced many other standard chemical tests.
1.1A decisively indicative test: opposition to the nomination became a litmus test for political support of candidates
More example sentences
  • Under the Federal Guidelines of 1971, statistical representation became the litmus test of discrimination.
  • By the 1900s, it had become the litmus test of public health among the medical profession and the urban middle class.
  • When sex becomes the litmus test of morality, when we focus disproportionate attention on sexual sin, we do harm by omission.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lit·mus test

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.