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
Well, the litmus test should be intelligence, caring about, as Harry Truman or Roosevelt use to call it, the common man.
The litmus tests of usability are the lights and windshield wipers.
His litmus test will come with the general elections scheduled for 2018.
Leftists will need to decide whether a single-payer litmus test is an instrument for a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party rather than an effective partywide message.
Each has gained significance over the years as a litmus test for the Oscars, part of an awards Triple Crown in which the final race is the only one that really counts.
But nevertheless, there's a more-than-zero chance The Health 202 will continue to closely follow the Democrats who back it as single-payer becomes a key litmus test in the 2020 sweepstakes.
The issue is poised to become a major litmus test for its presidential candidates in 2020.
There has been a simmering debate in left-of-center circles all year about whether Democrats should unite behind single-payer health care as a rallying cry and a litmus test.
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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