acid test

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acid test

A conclusive test. The phrase comes from the 19th-century practice of testing metals in nitric acid to determine if they contained gold. Restructuring the organization will be the acid test that determines whether or not it can survive the sudden downturn in the economy.
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acid test

Fig. a test whose findings are beyond doubt or dispute. The senator doesn't look too popular just now, but the acid test will be if he gets reelected.
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acid test

A decisive trial to determine worth or quality, as in Exposure to brilliant sunlight is the acid test for showing this fabric won't fade. Alluding to a 19th-century chemical test for distinguishing gold from other metals, this term was used figuratively by the early 1900s.
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the acid test

COMMON If you call something the acid test, it will prove how effective or useful something is. The acid test for the vaccine will be its performance in the south where the disease is more widespread. So far, I don't feel too bad but I'm waiting for my first really stressful day when things go wrong. That will be the real acid test. Note: Nitric acid can be used to test whether a metal is pure gold because it damages most metals but does not affect gold.
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the acid test

a situation or event which finally proves whether something is good or bad, true or false, etc.
The original use of the phrase was to describe a method of testing for gold with nitric acid (gold being resistant to the effects of nitric acid).
1990 Which? These deals are designed to encourage impulse buying, so the acid test is whether you would have bought anyway.
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the ˌacid ˈtest (of something)

(also the ˈlitmus test especially in American English ) a situation which finally proves whether something is good or bad, true or false, etc: They’ve always been good friends, but the acid test will come when they have to share a flat.Both these expressions originally referred to chemical tests. The acid test uses nitric acid to test if something is made of gold. The litmus test uses litmus paper to test for acids and alkalis.
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References in periodicals archive ?
26 (ANI): When England take on India on Sunday in a 2011 World Cup fixture, they are likely to face an acid test to establish how much they have improved in the one-day format.
Our next four games are against Coleraine, Linfield, Ballymena and Distillery so the next few weeks will be an acid test for us.
Nonetheless, before the auditor signs off on the engagement, he or she should use an acid test to evaluate the analytical review, reflecting on this question: If management was attempting to conceal a material financial statement fraud, where would it show up?
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