test

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
a
: a means of testing: such as
(1)
: something (such as a series of questions or exercises) for measuring the skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities, or aptitudes of an individual or group
(2)
: a procedure, reaction, or reagent used to identify or characterize a substance or constituent
b
: a positive result in such a test
2
a(1)
: a critical examination, observation, or evaluation : trial
specifically : the procedure of submitting a statement to such conditions or operations as will lead to its proof or disproof or to its acceptance or rejection
a test of a statistical hypothesis
(2)
: a basis for evaluation : criterion
b
: an ordeal or oath required as proof of conformity with a set of beliefs
c
chiefly British : cupel
3
: a result or value determined by testing
4

test

2 of 5

verb

tested; testing; tests

transitive verb

1
: to put to test or proof : try
often used with out
2
: to require a doctrinal oath of

intransitive verb

1
a
: to undergo a test
b
: to be assigned a standing or evaluation on the basis of tests
tested positive for cocaine
the cake tested done
2
: to apply a test as a means of analysis or diagnosis
used with for
test for mechanical aptitude
testability noun
testable adjective

test

3 of 5

adjective

1
: of, relating to, or constituting a test
2
: subjected to, used for, or revealed by testing
a test group
test data

test

4 of 5

noun (2)

: an external hard or firm covering (such as a shell) of many invertebrates (such as a foraminifer or a mollusk)

Test

5 of 5

abbreviation

Phrases
test the waters or less commonly test the water
: to make a preliminary test or survey (as of reaction or interest) before embarking on a course of action

Examples of test in a Sentence

Verb Weekly quizzes will test your understanding of the material. The students will all be tested again at the end of the school year. The school nurse will be testing students' hearing next week. She tested positive for the disease. The water gets tested regularly.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
American smartphones could feature chip technology tested and packaged in Panama. Shannon K. O’Neil, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Concerns are particularly acute during an already intense election year and OpenAI has said Sora is being tested for safety and will not be released to the public until potential issues over its malicious use are addressed. Robert Hart, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Chess has long been a touchstone for testing new ideas in artificial intelligence, and Penrose’s puzzles piqued Zahavy’s interest. Stephen Ornes, WIRED, 18 Feb. 2024 So something has to give, and what builders are doing now is testing the market and asking what is going to work. Conor Dougherty, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2024 Ahead, these are the caffeine eye creams dermatologists have tested and say really work. Macaela MacKenzie, Glamour, 17 Feb. 2024 In a stunning authorial debut, funnyman Jordan Peele wrote and directed this psychological thriller, about an interracial couple whose relationship is tested when the White girlfriend (Allison Williams) takes her Black boyfriend (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her parents. Andrew Lawrence, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2024 Sun Peak will recommence work on three exploration licenses at the Shire Project in the first half of 2024, which will include drilling to test multiple copper-gold VMS targets developed by the Company. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7 Feb. 2024 The reality is the opposite: Relying on natural ingredients to create products on a mass scale means surrendering to the seasons, testing and iterating complex formulations, and honoring the inconsistencies that come with contents grown from the earth. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 6 Feb. 2024
Adjective
The average fifth-grade teacher in Montgomery County spends one out of five days in the school year dealing with test prep, testing and post-test data collection. Nicole Asbury, Washington Post, 6 July 2022 Our testers evaluated and recorded their pre-test teeth color using the VITA Guide, brushed with the toothpastes as directed for several weeks, and then reevaluated teeth color. Danielle Zoellner, Verywell Health, 31 Jan. 2023 Vault runs many of the state's testing sites and its mail-order testing program, and coordinates billing, logistics, physician services and post-test communications. Joe Carlson, Star Tribune, 14 July 2021 For the first time, basic language from biostatistics, such as specificity, sensitivity, and pre-test probabilities, found its way into normal conversation. Shantanu Nundy, STAT, 17 June 2021 There's a reason child psychologists encourage children to express their feelings through drawings, teachers use coloring activities to conquer pre-test jitters and some dentists use coloring before appointments to ease dental anxiety. Dana Santas, CNN, 7 May 2021 The first step in using Bayes’s formula is to assign a number to my pre-test suspicions. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, 16 Sep. 2020 But Mungo said a more diverse applicant pool will not help if entry tests and post-test screening is skewed. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 4 June 2020 Eighteen of 25 subjects (72%) complimented the flavour, smooth texture and pleasant aftertaste of the Fudge-o-grafin and 1 (4%) requested more with which to wash down the post-test pie. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 12 July 2011
Noun
An Avenue For Celebration: Establish a way of rewarding and celebrating successful tests that move to scalability. Drew Cashmore, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Proficiency in English is essential, as the CPA exam is in English, potentially requiring proof through tests like the TOEFL. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Suddenly, metaphorical tests of faith are flung into Ed’s path as though his skidding pickup landed in a mashup of a Hallmark movie and a Roland Emmerich disaster pic. Jen Yamato, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 Others have technically sophisticated, economically competitive, and geographically proximate workforces that could assemble, test, and package microchips made in U.S.-based fabrication plants. Shannon K. O’Neil, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Investigators had traveled to Washington state around that time to execute a search warrant for Anderson after forensic tests were done several months earlier. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 20 Feb. 2024 There was no leakage during the wear test — although because of heavy bleeding, the tester did need to wear a pad during use — but the underwear’s material never got damp despite the presence of witch hazel, body fluids, and dermoplast. Nikita Charuza, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2024 In turning down a challenge to a policy that eliminated standardized tests, the court gave no reasons, as is its custom in issuing such orders. Adam Liptak, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2024 The company filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after its flagship vehicle, Karma, failed during its tests. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 20 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'test.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, vessel in which metals were assayed, potsherd, from Anglo-French test, tees pot, Latin testum earthen vessel; akin to Latin testa earthen pot, shell

Noun (2)

Latin testa shell

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

Verb

1748, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of test was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near test

Cite this Entry

“Test.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/test. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

test

1 of 3 noun
1
: a means of finding out the nature, quality, or value of something
put the new car to the test
2
: a procedure or method for identifying something
a test for starch
allergy tests
3
: a set of questions or problems designed to find out a person's knowledge, skills, or intelligence
4
: a result of or rating based on a test
uses 80-pound test fishing line

test

2 of 3 verb
1
: to put to test or proof : try
test out your strength
2
a
: to take part in a test
actors testing for roles in the play
b
: to achieve or be assigned a rating on the basis of tests
the class tested high in math
3
: to use tests as a way to analyze or identify
test for copper
testable
ˈtes-tə-bəl
adjective

test

3 of 3 noun
: a firm or rigid covering (as a shell) of many invertebrates

Medical Definition

test

1 of 3 noun
1
: a critical examination, observation, evaluation, or trial
specifically : the procedure of submitting a statement to such conditions or operations as will lead to its proof or disproof or to its acceptance or rejection
a test of a statistical hypothesis
2
: a means of testing: as
a(1)
: a procedure or reaction used to identify or characterize a substance or constituent
a test for starch using iodine
(2)
: a reagent used in such a test
b
: a diagnostic procedure for determining the presence or nature of a condition or disease or for revealing a change in function
c
: something (as a series of questions or exercises) for measuring the skill, knowledge, intelligence, capacities, or aptitudes of an individual or group
3
: a result or value determined by testing

test

2 of 3 transitive verb
: to subject to a test

intransitive verb

1
: to undergo a test
2
: to apply a test as a means of analysis or diagnosis
used with for
test for the presence of starch

test

3 of 3 adjective
1
: of, relating to, or constituting a test
the test environment affected the scores
2
: subjected to, used for, or revealed by testing
test substances

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