litmus test

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litmus test

n.
A test for chemical acidity or basicity using litmus paper.
References in periodicals archive ?
In all likelihood, we can expect more litmus tests of Catholic faith in the years ahead.
The litmus test strategy to block confirmation of John Roberts is now becoming much more evident.
While denying that he has a litmus test on judges, pro-abortion Vice President and potential Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore made his intentions clear regarding Supreme Court appointments: they will support abortion.
Nicholson and his allies triumphed, but only alter Lambert and other Religious Right activists lofted a procedural vote on the issue that can be used as a litmus test in the coming inter-party infighting.
Safeguard against subjecting scientists to ideological or political litmus tests for advisory committees and civil service positions.
Political leaders and various other officials will review the concept, weighing it to see if it measures up as good public policy, good health policy, and according to whatever litmus tests they want to apply to it.