Definition of acid test in English:

acid test


  • A conclusive test of the success or value of something.

    ‘gritstone is the acid test of a climber's ability’
    • ‘‘This is the acid test of his objectivity as a minister,’ argues Kennedy.’
    • ‘For all its rich song-soaked legacy, the Malayalam film industry has never put the dancing skills of its heroes to an acid test.’
    • ‘But I guess this is the acid test for whether or not you're shy.’
    • ‘And that, according to any number of people here, is the acid test of the world's new-found determination to stamp out doping.’
    • ‘The acid test will come for him when a match needs to be won and risks have to be taken.’
    • ‘The acid test for the party will be how well they contribute to running the country after next year's election.’
    • ‘Last night, I decided to subject the car to the acid test - my friend Stephen.’
    • ‘Exposed as it is to the acid test of consumerism, subjected as it is to the excesses of materialism, the citadel of culture seems to be crumbling fast.’
    • ‘It can be used as an acid test of whether a person has interest in knowing or may be blinded by ideological convictions.’
    • ‘The acid test of social democracy is unemployment, because if you are out of work you are far more likely to be poor and marginalised.’
    • ‘After five years of devolution surely the acid test is to ask in what ways is life in Scotland different now from what it would have been had we not had our own parliament?’
    • ‘The acid test, of course is to look at your own circumstances.’
    • ‘Reform of the banking sector becomes an acid test of this government's determination to change public perception of its competence and its commitment to competition.’
    • ‘The acid test was piloting the new hairstyle back to London, where the nicest adjective it has received so far is ‘unusual’.’
    • ‘The one acid test he applies before participating in any social event is whether such participation will benefit his company or the society at large.’
    • ‘The acid test of his adventurous spirit will be in the home match against Denmark in August, the first in which he will play his ‘best team’.’
    • ‘When you apply the acid test of value for money, hardly any make the grade.’
    • ‘The acid test for the new one-way system, however, will be peak hours of Monday when roads will take the full might of vehicles after an easy weekend.’
    • ‘The acid test, as ever, is whether I'd go back, and on that key criterion the restaurant continues to impress.’
    • ‘Gilligan always knew this year would be the acid test.’


Figuratively, from the original use denoting a test for gold using nitric acid.


acid test