litmus test was our Word of the Day on 05/17/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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 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.
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.
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.
This was a better litmus test for the Cardinal than UCLA, even though the pattern was the same.
Having Bernie Sanders on top of the 2020 heap makes supporting government-run health care a new litmus test for Democrats, as his leadership steers the party into far left field.
Party chairman Tom Perez doesn’t support a litmus test on the issue for Democratic candidates.
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
Learn More about litmus test
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up litmus test? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).