acid-test

acid test

noun
a severe and conclusive test to establish quality, genuineness, worth, etc.

Origin:
1890–95

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
acid test
 
n
a rigorous and conclusive test to establish worth or value: the play passed the critic's acid test
 
[C19: from the testing of gold with nitric acid]

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