acid test

acid test


  • a test that proves a hypothesis or validity of a product or idea
  • a test which really proves the value, quality or truth of something
  • a sure or decisive test
  • a test whose results are beyond doubt or dispute
  • a test that is foolproof and conclusive

Example Sentences

  1. He played well in the last match, but the acid test will come when the team plays the stronger opponents.
  2. The acid test for the new theory would come when it is actually implemented and the results come out.
  3. The politician made a lot of promises, but the acid test would come when he assumes office and starts delivering on them.
  4. He’s had an easy tournament so far, but the next match would be his first real acid test.
  5. The acid test for the budding singer was when he had his first big show and had to sing in front of a large audience.
  6. The product look great, but will people buy it? That’s the acid test.


The phrase alludes to a chemical test to prove the pureness of gold. This test was developed in the late 18th century and used nitric acid, which dissolve other metals more readily than gold. So the amount of metal dissolved would prove the pureness of the gold. The figurative use started around the mid 19th century, with the earliest print reference being in the Wisconsin paper “The Columbia Reporter” in November 1845.

A 8 Thoughts

8 Thoughts

Reading some of the other thoughts I wanted to give a native speaker’s perspective. Speaking of “an” acid test sounds wrong to my ears, you almost always hear this idiom in a construction like “that will be _the_ acid test”.

An acid test (noun) is a famous example of a final, conclusive, indisputable test. Therefore you should only need one, by definition. So when using acid test (idiom) you’re going to talk about the (singular) acid test.

Also, “he was an acid test” sounds wrong to me too. I would saying “Convincing him would be the acid test”. An acid test isn’t a person, it’s something you perform, something you do, so it’s usually going to be a verb. Saying a person is the acid test to imply that their opinion is decisive or crucial makes sense, but the language hasn’t gone there to my knowledge, people haven’t used the idiom like that, so it sounds wrong.

- James F October 28, 2020

NEET exam is an acid test for all doctor aspirants.

- Amaya Mehta January 7, 2018

Acid Test

very difficult test.

Final exams are always an acid test.
It is an acid test for any upcoming artist to get established.

- Harish July 4, 2017

Thanks, it is very useful page.

- Anonymous July 3, 2017

Is it write usage of ‘acid test’:

As he was an acid test, it was a tough task for us to convince him.

- Vijayender K June 1, 2017

Thanks, the page is useful to learn about acid test idiomatic expression.

- Prakashbabu K P January 9, 2016

Really given good information, it’s a good page.

- Maira Noreen June 9, 2015

Acid test – Acid test probes the effectiveness of something.

- Catherin Mae March 10, 2015

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