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crucible (plural crucibles)
- (chemistry) A cup-shaped piece of laboratory equipment used to contain chemical compounds when heating them to very high temperatures.
- 1850, Edgar Allan Poe, “Von Kempelen and His Discovery”, in The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe:
- In one corner of the closet was a very small furnace, with a glowing fire in it, and on the fire a kind of duplicate crucible—two crucibles connected by a tube. One of these crucibles was nearly full of lead in a state of fusion, but not reaching up to the aperture of the tube, which was close to the brim.
- A heat-resistant container in which metals are melted, usually at temperatures above 500°C, commonly made of graphite with clay as a binder.
- The bottom and hottest part of a blast furnace; the hearth.
- (figuratively) A very difficult and trying experience, that acts as a refining or hardening process.
- Coordinate term: trial by fire
cup-shaped piece of laboratory equipment
heat-resistant container in which metals are melted
difficult and trying experience