touchstone

See also: Touchstone

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

touch +‎ stone

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

touchstone (plural touchstones)

  1. A stone used to check the quality of gold alloys by rubbing them to leave a visible trace.
  2. (figuratively, by extension) A standard of comparison or evaluation.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), 6th edition, London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, OCLC 21766567:
      The foregoing doctrine affords us also a touchstone for the trial of spirits.
    • 2012, Ann Baynes Coiro, ‎Thomas Fulton, Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton (page 243)
      In the print firestorm that followed the publication of the royal couple's letters, the generalissima was one polemical touchstone. The Annotations to The Kings Cabinet Opened itself depicted the queen as an enemy to king and country: []

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