litmus test was our Word of the Day on 05/17/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of litmus test in a Sentence
The party is using attitudes about gun control as a litmus test for political candidates.
Recent Examples of litmus test from the Web
Income litmus tests Britain’s family immigration rules are among the world’s most financially stringent.
The weeks ahead will provide a crucial litmus test for Republicans, who, despite controlling both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade, have failed to pass meaningful legislation this year.
The status of women is seen as a litmus test for how open Saudi Arabia is to foreign ideas and investment.
And that makes Saturday's matchup a litmus test for a Ducks program that, one year after taking a pounding en route to a 4-8 record, is now handing out a few of its own.
If villains are a litmus test for our collective mental state, the prognosis isn’t good.
The police response to Sunday's protest is being seen as a litmus test of that neutrality.
Under mounting pressure to pass a bill now considered a litmus test, the Senate leader published an op-ed on NBC News’s Web site that all but begged Democrats to vote for his tax-reform plan.
And for that reason, soccer’s quadrennial global party isn’t the best litmus test for an individual country’s progress.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'litmus test.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
litmus test Has Scientific Origins
It was in the 14th century that scientists discovered that litmus, a mixture of colored organic compounds obtained from lichen, turns red in acid solutions and blue in alkaline solutions and, thus, can be used as an acid-base indicator. Six centuries later, people began using litmus test figuratively. It can now refer to any single factor that establishes the true character of something or causes it to be assigned to one category or another. Often it refers to something (such as an opinion about a political or moral issue) that can be used to make a judgment about whether someone or something is acceptable or not.
First Known Use of litmus test
LITMUS TEST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of litmus test for English Language Learners
: something (such as an opinion about a political or moral issue) that is used to make a judgment about whether someone or something is acceptable
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