touchstone

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See also: Touchstone

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

touch +‎ stone

Noun[edit]

touchstone (plural touchstones)

  1. A stone used to check the quality of gold alloys by rubbing them to leave a visible trace.

() (A synonym for a type of stone?) "The design of Margaret Beaufort's tomb is only un-Italian in that it is of the free standing altar type traditional to England. All of touchstone, it has on the four sides roundels, separated by fluted Composite pilasters, of ribboned bay wreaths enclosing escutcheons in gilt bronze." James Lees-Milne, Tudor Renaissance (B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1951, p. 29).

  1. (figuratively, by extension) A standard of comparison or evaluation.
    • South
      The foregoing doctrine affords us also a touchstone for the trial of spirits.

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