If your boss tells you not to test her patience, she means don't push her today, because she might just snap.

Surely you're familiar with vocabulary tests? In this case, someone is giving you difficult questions to see how much you know. Test more generally means "trial." If you test a soap on your skin, you use it on one small patch, to see if you'll have an allergic reaction. A drug test looks for the presence of drugs in your system. A difficult time in life is sometimes called "a test," because it's testing your strength to persevere.

Primary Meanings of test

any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality etc
examine someone's knowledge of something
a hard outer covering as of some amoebas and sea urchins
Full Definitions of test

n any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality etc

“the test was standardized on a large sample of students”
mental test, mental testing, psychometric test
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IQ test, intelligence test
a psychometric test of intelligence
personality test
any test that is intended to assess personality
one of a battery of related tests
Stanford-Binet test
revision of the Binet-Simon Scale
Binet-Simon Scale
the first intelligence test
projective device, projective technique, projective test
any personality test designed to yield information about someone's personality on the basis of their unrestricted response to ambiguous objects or situations
personality assessment, personality inventory
a questionnaire that is supposed to yield a description of a person's personality traits
Type of:
mental measurement
a generic term used to cover any application of measurement techniques to the quantification of mental functions

n a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge

“when the test was stolen the professor had to make a new set of questions”
exam, examination
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bar exam, bar examination
an examination conducted at regular intervals to determine whether a candidate is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction
comp, comprehensive, comprehensive examination
an intensive examination testing a student's proficiency in some special field of knowledge
entrance exam, entrance examination
examination to determine a candidate's preparation for a course of studies
final, final exam, final examination
an examination administered at the end of an academic term
litmus test
a test that relies on a single indicator
midterm, midterm exam, midterm examination
an examination administered in the middle of an academic term
oral, oral exam, oral examination, viva, viva voce
an examination conducted by spoken communication
prelim, preliminary exam, preliminary examination
an examination taken by graduate students to determine their fitness to continue
an examination consisting of a few short questions
exam paper, examination paper, question sheet, test paper
a written examination
final honors degree examinations at Cambridge University
pop quiz
a quiz given without prior warning
Type of:
communicating, communication
the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information

n the act of undergoing testing

“he survived the great test of battle”
Type of:
attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour, try
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something

n the act of testing something

run, trial
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a quantitative or qualitative test of a substance (especially an ore or a drug) to determine its components; frequently used to test for the presence or concentration of infectious agents or antibodies etc.
clinical test, clinical trial
a rigorously controlled test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on human subjects; in the United States it is conducted under the direction of the FDA before being made available for general clinical use
double blind
a test procedure in which the identity of those receiving the intervention is concealed from both the administrators and the subjects until after the test is completed; designed to reduce or eliminate bias in the results
preclinical phase, preclinical test, preclinical trial
a laboratory test of a new drug or a new invasive medical device on animal subjects; conducted to gather evidence justifying a clinical trial
audition, tryout
a test of the suitability of a performer
field trial
a test of young hunting dogs to determine their skill in pointing and retrieving
fitting, try-on, trying on
putting clothes on to see whether they fit
MOT, MOT test, Ministry of Transportation test
a compulsory annual test of older motor vehicles for safety and exhaust fumes
pilot program, pilot project
activity planned as a test or trial
Snellen test
a test of visual acuity using a Snellen chart
ELISA, enzyme-linked-immunosorbent serologic assay
an assay that relies on an enzymatic conversion reaction and is used to detect the presence of specific substances (such as enzymes or viruses or antibodies or bacteria)
an assay that shows specific antigens in tissues by the use of markers that are either fluorescent dyes or enzymes (such as horseradish peroxidase)
phase I, phase I clinical trial
a clinical trial on a few persons to determine the safety of a new drug or invasive medical device; for drugs, dosage or toxicity limits should be obtained
phase II, phase II clinical trial
a clinical trial on more persons than in phase I; intended to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment for the condition it is intended to treat; possible side effects are monitored
phase III, phase III clinical trial
a large clinical trial of a treatment or drug that in phase I and phase II has been shown to be efficacious with tolerable side effects; after successful conclusion of these clinical trials it will receive formal approval from the FDA
phase IV, phase IV clinical trial
sometimes the FDA approves a drug for general use but requires the manufacturer to continue to monitor its effects; during this phase the drug may be tried on slightly different patient populations than those studied in earlier trials
screen test
a filmed audition of an actor or actress
diagnostic assay, diagnostic test
an assay conducted for diagnostic purposes
bio-assay, bioassay
appraisal of the biological activity of a substance by testing its effect on an organism and comparing the result with some agreed standard
Type of:
attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour, try
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something

n trying something to find out about it

trial, trial run, tryout
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field test, field trial
a test of the performance of some new product under the conditions in which it will be used
alpha test
(computer science) a first test of an experimental product (such as computer software) carried out by the developer
beta test
(computer science) a second test of an experimental product (such as computer software) carried out by an outside organization
road test
a test to insure that a vehicle is roadworthy
trial balloon
a test of public opinion
test drive
test of the roadworthiness of a vehicle one is considering buying
Type of:
experiment, experimentation
the testing of an idea

v examine someone's knowledge of something

“The teacher tests us every week”
Type of:
question closely

v put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to

Test this recipe”
essay, examine, prove, try, try out
control, verify
check or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or comparing with another standard
circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with
test something under the conditions under which it will actually be used
Type of:
evaluate, judge, pass judgment
form a critical opinion of

v undergo a test

“She doesn't test well”
examine someone's knowledge of something
Type of:
submit, take
accept or undergo, often unwillingly

v achieve a certain score or rating on a test

“She tested high on the LSAT and was admitted to all the good law schools”
Type of:
get a certain number or letter indicating quality or performance

v determine the presence or properties of (a substance)

Type of:
ascertain, check, determine, find out, learn, see, watch
find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort

v test or examine for the presence of disease or infection

Type of:
make an examination or investigation

v show a certain characteristic when tested

“He tested positive for HIV”
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

n a hard outer covering as of some amoebas and sea urchins

Type of:
cover, covering, natural covering
a natural object that covers or envelops

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