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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Test n.
 1. Metal. A cupel or cupelling hearth in which precious metals are melted for trial and refinement.
    Our ingots, tests, and many mo.   --Chaucer.
 2. Examination or trial by the cupel; hence, any critical examination or decisive trial; as, to put a man's assertions to a test. “Bring me to the test.”
 3. Means of trial; as, absence is a test of love.
    Each test every light her muse will bear.   --Dryden.
 4. That with which anything is compared for proof of its genuineness; a touchstone; a standard.
 Life, force, and beauty must to all impart,
 At once the source, and end, and test of art.   --Pope.
 5. Discriminative characteristic; standard of judgment; ground of admission or exclusion.
    Our test excludes your tribe from benefit.   --Dryden.
 6. Judgment; distinction; discrimination.
 Who would excel, when few can make a test
 Betwixt indifferent writing and the best?   --Dryden.
 7. Chem. A reaction employed to recognize or distinguish any particular substance or constituent of a compound, as the production of some characteristic precipitate; also, the reagent employed to produce such reaction; thus, the ordinary test for sulphuric acid is the production of a white insoluble precipitate of barium sulphate by means of some soluble barium salt.
 Test act Eng. Law, an act of the English Parliament prescribing a form of oath and declaration against transubstantiation, which all officers, civil and military, were formerly obliged to take within six months after their admission to office. They were obliged also to receive the sacrament according to the usage of the Church of England. --Blackstone.
 Test object Optics, an object which tests the power or quality of a microscope or telescope, by requiring a certain degree of excellence in the instrument to determine its existence or its peculiar texture or markings.
 Test paper. (a) Chem. Paper prepared for use in testing for certain substances by being saturated with a reagent which changes color in some specific way when acted upon by those substances; thus, litmus paper is turned red by acids, and blue by alkalies, turmeric paper is turned brown by alkalies, etc. (b) Law An instrument admitted as a standard or comparison of handwriting in those jurisdictions in which comparison of hands is permitted as a mode of proving handwriting.
 Test tube. Chem. (a) A simple tube of thin glass, closed at one end, for heating solutions and for performing ordinary reactions. (b) A graduated tube.
 Syn: -- Criterion; standard; experience; proof; experiment; trial.
 Usage: -- Test, Trial. Trial is the wider term; test is a searching and decisive trial. It is derived from the Latin testa (earthen pot), which term was early applied to the fining pot, or crucible, in which metals are melted for trial and refinement. Hence the peculiar force of the word, as indicating a trial or criterion of the most decisive kind.
    I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commediation.   --Shak.
 Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune,
 Like purest gold, that tortured in the furnace,
 Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its weight.   --Addison.