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[kroo-suh-buh l] /ˈkru sə bəl/
a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
Metallurgy. a hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects.
a severe, searching test or trial.
Origin of crucible
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English crusible, corusible < Medieval Latin crucibulum; compare Anglo-French crusil, Old French croi-suel, croisol night lamp, crucible < Gallo-Romance *croceolus (of uncertain origin), probably Latinized on the model of tūribulum thurible Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for crucible
  • The new interpretation is bound to face a fiery crucible as its merits are debated by scientists.
  • Only those of us who have shared the crucible of war can truly understand how the bond unites us.
  • The scientific method is the crucible in which only fact can emerge.
  • Promising bloodlines can now be developed, though the crucible of the racetrack remains several seasons away.
  • Coherence need not be the crucible for evaluating the schizophrenic rants of a homicidal megalomaniac.
  • In a crucible of war, you toss out ideas that don't work.
  • The nightmare realities have been etherealized in the crucible of his language.
  • With no experience of participatory politics, the parties are having to learn much too quickly, in a burning crucible.
  • The open-air museum features industrial artifacts such as waterwheels and the world's only surviving crucible steel furnace.
  • Any student of war knows the area has been a crucible for conflict for centuries.
British Dictionary definitions for crucible


a vessel in which substances are heated to high temperatures
the hearth at the bottom of a metallurgical furnace in which the metal collects
a severe trial or test
Word Origin
C15 corusible, from Medieval Latin crūcibulum night lamp, crucible, of uncertain origin


the Crucible, a Sheffield theatre, venue of the annual world professional snooker championship
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for crucible

early 15c., from Medieval Latin crucibulum "melting pot for metals," originally "night lamp." First element might be Middle High German kruse "earthen pot." Or perhaps it is from Latin crux on some fancied resemblance to a cross. Used of any severe test or trial since 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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crucible in Science
A heat-resistant container used to melt ores, metals, and other materials.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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