litmus test


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litmus test

1. A chemical test used to determine acidity or alkalinity in a solution. The students performed a litmus test in class to learn whether the chemical solution was an acid or a base.
2. A test used to determine someone's true intentions or beliefs. I used his reaction to my favorite movie as a litmus test to determine if he was worth dating.
See also: litmus, test

litmus test

 
1. Lit. a test used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of chemical substances. (Acid turns litmus paper red and alkaline compounds turn it blue.) I used a litmus test to show that the compound was slightly acid.
2. Fig. a question or experiment that seeks to determine the state of one important factor. His performance on the long exam served as a litmus test to determine whether he would go to college. The amount of white cells in my blood became the litmus test for diagnosing my disease.
See also: litmus, test
References in periodicals archive ?
I believe most Americans understand that unconstitutional litmus tests are not only unethical but will also result in a very chilling effect upon those seeking to serve in the judiciary.
Archbishop Chaput also rejected DeGette's accusation about a litmus test, "since your own party enforces a pro-choice litmus test on its potential candidates far more roughly and with far less moral legitimacy.
My traditional understanding as a student of constitutional law actually is that an ideological litmus test might not be acceptable for judges, either," he says.
They contributed to forcing the party nominee, Robert Dole, to abandon his efforts toward a call for tolerance on the abortion issue and to use the anti-abortion plank as the litmus test in choosing his running mate.
Protecting children is the moral litmus test of our humanity,' the President of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, said in her Jubilee Lecture.
Not incidentally, Mercedes also seems to want a litmus test for a newly completed corporate reorganization that has stripped away layers of bulky management.
But, as Yankelovich points out-and any pollster worth his salt would agree-current events knowledge is not the litmus test for being able to contribute usefully to the democratic process.
This was, in effect, a litmus test for the industry, as it clearly and successfully demonstrated the multitude of equipment, processes, and services that carriers will need in order to build a next-generation service delivery platform, as well as the ability to deploy high-quality services across disparate IP networks and borders.
The litmus test was Santa Clarita's popular winter youth basketball league, in which city residents were charged $93 apiece, while players from Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, Fair Oaks Ranch and other outlying areas paid $121.
The cooling residential market will also serve as a litmus test for existing condo projects, revealing whether developers built in enough of a cushion for profitability to accommodate the possibility of shrinking sales.
Appeals to voters should not be on the basis of religion, nor should a candidate's religious beliefs be a litmus test for public office.
I believe [the senators] established a litmus test based on a difference of religious perspectives," Wilson said.
The Episcopal church has no ideological litmus test for overseas partners and has 'punished' no one for holding different opinions of church order.
Of course, there are plenty of pro-choice Catholics, including some of the Democrats who opposed Pryor's confirmation; the argument, however, is that an abortion-rights litmus test effectively disqualifies "serious" Catholics from federal judgeships.
Catholic Insight has explained this all in detail in editorials and in News in Brief (see "A litmus test.