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

a litmus test

JOURNALISM
COMMON If something is a litmus test of the quality or success of a particular thing, it is an effective way of proving it or measuring it. My personal litmus test when I have to decide whether to keep or discard something is whether or not I look at and enjoy it every day. The success of wind power represents a litmus test for renewable energy. Note: Litmus paper is used to test the acidity of substances. It turns red in acid conditions and blue in alkaline conditions.
See also: litmus, test
References in periodicals archive ?
I'm pleased to announce that Dominique's passed stage-two of the litmus test as well, with the calzone going down a treat.
DeGette, in a harsh response to the disinvitation, criticized the Catholic Church's "apparent litmus test regarding elected officials' views" and concluded that "the fringe politics of abortion have apparently won out.
The residency was a litmus test for measuring student achievement for Scoggins's program, which is the newest in the area
Liberals could not be confirmed, either, if Republican Senators applied an ideological litmus test.
The litmus test for specificity goes as follows: If Activity A is totally specific to Activity B, then Activity B is totally specific to Activity A.
Gore, if you wanted to allow gays to serve openly in the military would you impose a litmus test on your choice for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?
By the fall of 1986, a good litmus test of where you fell on the art-political spectrum was how you felt about International With Monument.
It is also an economic accounting of how landowners fared as England became both the industrial leader and military defender of a free and democratic world - their homes becoming the litmus test in determining their utility in the brave new world of the twentieth century.
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.
It added: "This vote [could be] a litmus test regarding public support for austerity, and the conditionality of financial support from other euro area members, at a time when unpopular austerity measures have already created a fractious mood in distressed EU countries.
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.