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
Porter has situated herself to the left of Min on health care, a key litmus test issue in primaries across the country.
Any number of people could’ve told me to try this litmus test (and plenty have).
And this is an interesting litmus test for sort of your cultural technology/pop culture literacy.
Where is the public consensus rallying against the litmus test on patriotism being enforced by the NFL?
At the same time, voters should recognize that ideological litmus tests in primaries too often prevent public servants willing to reach across the aisle from surviving in office.
Friday’s sanctions were viewed by many U.S. lawmakers and Western Russia experts as a litmus test for the administration’s commitment to punishing Moscow.
Rihanna is society's litmus test for what's cool or lame.
The litmus test would be applied when the party renewed its official status, after each gubernatorial election.
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.
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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