Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A test for chemical acidity or basicity using litmus paper.
  • noun A test that uses a single indicator to prompt a decision.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Chem.) A test to determine acidity or alkalinity, using litmus as an inddicator.
  • (Politics) A test for a single factor, which has only two outcomes, positive or negative

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun chemistry A simple test for the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, using litmus paper.
  • noun figuratively, by extension Any test which produces a decisive result by measuring a single indicator.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a coloring material (obtained from lichens) that turns red in acid solutions and blue in alkaline solutions; used as a very rough acid-base indicator
  • noun a test that relies on a single indicator

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From litmus + test.

Examples

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Comments

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  • My Chemistry master at school had a little poem:

    Blue to red, a-sed

    Red to blue, alkalu

    September 27, 2008

  • It is a mistake to use a person’s political beliefs as the litmus test of his compassion.

    December 22, 2010