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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Test \Test\, n. [OE. test test, or cupel, potsherd, F. t[^e]t,
     from L. testum an earthen vessel; akin to testa a piece of
     burned clay, an earthen pot, a potsherd, perhaps for tersta,
     and akin to torrere to patch, terra earth (cf. Thirst, and
     Terrace), but cf. Zend tasta cup. Cf. Test a shell,
     Testaceous, Tester a covering, a coin, Testy,
     1. (Metal.) A cupel or cupelling hearth in which precious
        metals are melted for trial and refinement.
        [1913 Webster]
              Our ingots, tests, and many mo.       --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Examination or trial by the cupel; hence, any critical
        examination or decisive trial; as, to put a man's
        assertions to a test. "Bring me to the test." --Shak.
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     3. Means of trial; as, absence is a test of love.
        [1913 Webster]
              Each test every light her muse will bear. --Dryden.
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     4. That with which anything is compared for proof of its
        genuineness; a touchstone; a standard.
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              Life, force, and beauty must to all impart,
              At once the source, and end, and test of art.
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     5. Discriminative characteristic; standard of judgment;
        ground of admission or exclusion.
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              Our test excludes your tribe from benefit. --Dryden.
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     6. Judgment; distinction; discrimination.
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              Who would excel, when few can make a test
              Betwixt indifferent writing and the best? --Dryden.
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     7. (Chem.) A reaction employed to recognize or distinguish
        any particular substance or constituent of a compound, as
        the production of some characteristic precipitate; also,
        the reagent employed to produce such reaction; thus, the
        ordinary test for sulphuric acid is the production of a
        white insoluble precipitate of barium sulphate by means of
        some soluble barium salt.
        [1913 Webster]
     8. A set of questions to be answered or problems to be
        solved, used as a means to measure a person's knowledge,
        aptitude, skill, intelligence, etc.; in school settings,
        synonymous with examination or exam; as, an
        intelligence test. Also used attributively; as a test
        score, test results.
     Test act (Eng. Law), an act of the English Parliament
        prescribing a form of oath and declaration against
        transubstantiation, which all officers, civil and
        military, were formerly obliged to take within six months
        after their admission to office. They were obliged also to
        receive the sacrament according to the usage of the Church
        of England. --Blackstone.
     Test object (Optics), an object which tests the power or
        quality of a microscope or telescope, by requiring a
        certain degree of excellence in the instrument to
        determine its existence or its peculiar texture or
     Test paper.
        (a) (Chem.) Paper prepared for use in testing for certain
            substances by being saturated with a reagent which
            changes color in some specific way when acted upon by
            those substances; thus, litmus paper is turned red by
            acids, and blue by alkalies, turmeric paper is turned
            brown by alkalies, etc.
        (b) (Law) An instrument admitted as a standard or
            comparison of handwriting in those jurisdictions in
            which comparison of hands is permitted as a mode of
            proving handwriting.
     Test tube. (Chem.)
        (a) A simple tube of thin glass, closed at one end, for
            heating solutions and for performing ordinary
        (b) A graduated tube.
            [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Criterion; standard; experience; proof; experiment;
     Usage: Test, Trial. Trial is the wider term; test is a
            searching and decisive trial. It is derived from the
            Latin testa (earthen pot), which term was early
            applied to the fining pot, or crucible, in which
            metals are melted for trial and refinement. Hence the
            peculiar force of the word, as indicating a trial or
            criterion of the most decisive kind.
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                  I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose
                  trial shall better publish his commediation.
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                  Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of
                  Like purest gold, that tortured in the furnace,
                  Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its
                  weight.                           --Addison.
            [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Examination \Ex*am`i*na"tion\, n. [L. examinatio: cf. F.
     1. The act of examining, or state of being examined; a
        careful search, investigation, or inquiry; scrutiny by
        study or experiment.
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     2. A process prescribed or assigned for testing
        qualification; as, the examination of a student, or of a
        candidate for admission to the bar or the ministry.
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              He neglected the studies, . . . stood low at the
              examinations.                         --Macaulay.
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     Examination in chief, or Direct examination (Law), that
        examination which is made of a witness by a party calling
     Cross-examination, that made by the opposite party.
     Re["e]xamination, or Re-direct examination, (Law) that
        questioning of a witness at trial made by the party
        calling the witness, after, and upon matters arising out
        of, the cross-examination; also called informally
     Syn: Search; inquiry; investigation; research; scrutiny;
          inquisition; inspection; exploration.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)
           [syn: examination, scrutiny]
      2: 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" [syn: examination, exam,
      3: formal systematic questioning [syn: interrogation,
         examination, interrogatory]
      4: a detailed inspection of your conscience (as done daily by
         Jesuits) [syn: examen, examination]
      5: the act of giving students or candidates a test (as by
         questions) to determine what they know or have learned [syn:
         examination, testing]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  169 Moby Thesaurus words for "examination":
     Pap test, Socratic method, airing, analysis, anatomic diagnosis,
     appraisal, article, asking, assessment, assize, audition,
     biological diagnosis, biopsy, blue book, bringing into question,
     buzz session, canvassing, catechetical method, catechism,
     catechization, catechizing, causerie, challenge, change of venue,
     checkout, clinical diagnosis, colloquium, conference,
     consideration, contemplation, court-martial, cross-examination,
     cytodiagnosis, debate, debating, deliberation, descant, diagnosis,
     dialectic, dialogue, differential diagnosis, digital examination,
     discourse, discussion, dispute, disquisition, dissertation,
     electrocardiography, electroencephalography, electromyography,
     enquiry, essay, etude, exam, examen, exchange of views, excursus,
     exploration, exposition, eyeball inspection, feature, final,
     final examination, first approach, forum, going-over, great go,
     grilling, hearing, homily, honors, inquest, inquiring, inquiry,
     inquisition, inspection, interpellation, interrogation,
     introductory study, investigation, joint discussion, jury trial,
     laboratory diagnosis, logical analysis, logical discussion,
     lucubration, mammography, memoir, midsemester, midterm, mistrial,
     monograph, morceau, note, ocular inspection, open discussion,
     open forum, oral, oral examination, outline, overhaul, overhauling,
     overview, pandect, panel discussion, paper, paragraph,
     perlustration, perusal, physical diagnosis, physical examination,
     piece, postmortem diagnosis, prelim, preliminary study, probe,
     probing, prolegomenon, pumping, quality control, querying,
     questioning, quiz, quizzing, rap, rap session, research,
     research paper, review, run-through, scan, screed, scrutiny,
     search, seeking, seminar, serodiagnosis, sketch, smear,
     special article, study, survey, symposium, take-home examination,
     term paper, test, testing, the eye, theme, thesis, third degree,
     town meeting, tract, tractate, treatise, treatment, trial,
     trial by jury, tripos, urinalysis, uroscopy, ventilation, vetting,
     visitation, visual examination, viva, work-up, written,
     written examination

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EXAMINATION, crim. law. By the common law no one is bound to accuse himself. 
  Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum. In England, by the statutes of Philip and 
  Mary, (1 & 2 P. & M. c. 13; 2 & 3 P. & M. c. 10,) the principles of which 
  have been adopted in several of the United States, the justices before whom 
  any person shall be brought, charged with any of the crimes therein 
  mentioned, shall take the examination of the prisoner, as well is that of 
  the witnesses, in writing, which the magistrates shall subscribe, and 
  deliver to the officer of the court where the trial is to be had. The 
  signature of the prisoner, when not specially required by statute, is not 
  indispensable, though it is proper to obtain it, when it can be obtained. 1 
  Chit. Cr. Law, 87; 2 Leach, Cr. Cas. 625. 
       2. It will be proper to consider, 1. The requisites of such 
  examination. 2. How it is to be proved. 3. Its effects. 
       3.-1. It is required that it should, 1st. Be voluntarily made, 
  without any compulsion of any kind; and, 2d. It must be reduced to writing. 
  1st. The law is particularly solicitous to let the prisoner be free in 
  making declarations in his examination; and if the prisoner has not been 
  left entirely free, or did not consider himself to be so, or if he did not 
  feel at liberty wholly to decline any explanation or declaration whatever, 
  the examination is not considered voluntary, and the writing cannot be read 
  in evidence against him, nor can parol evidence be received of what the 
  prisoner said on the occasion. 5 C. & P. 812; 7 C. & P. 177; 1 Stark. R. 
  242; 6 Penn. Law Journ. 120. The prisoner, of course, cannot be sworn, and 
  make his statement under oath. Bull. N. P. 242; 4 Hawk. P. C. book 2, c. 46, 
  Sec. 37; 4 C. & P. 564. 2a. The statute requires that the examination shall 
  be reduced to writing, or so much as may be material, and the law presumes 
  the magistrate did his duty and took down all that was material. Joy on 
  Conf. 89-92; 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 227. The prisoner need not sign the 
  examination so reduced to writing, to give it validity; but, if being asked 
  to sign it, he absolutely refuse, it will be considered incomplete. 2 Stark. 
  R. 483; 2 Leach, Cr. Cas. 627, n. 
      4.-2. The certificate of the magistrate is conclusive evidence of the 
  manner in which the examination was conducted. 7 C. & P. 177; 9 C. & P. 124; 
  1 Stark. R. 242. Before it can be given in evidence, its identity must be 
  proved, as well as the identity of the prisoner. When the prisoner has 
  signed the examination, proof of his handwriting is sufficient evidence that 
  he has read it; but if he has merely made his mark, or not signed it at all, 
  the magistrate or clerk must identify the prisoner, and prove that the 
  writing was duly read to him, and that he assented to it. l Greenl. Ev. Sec. 
  520; 1 M. & Rob. 395. 
      5.-3. The effect of such an examination, when properly taken and 
  proved, is sufficient to found a conviction. 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 216. 

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EXAMINATION, practice. The interrogation of a witness, in order to ascertain 
  his knowledge as to the facts in dispute between parties. When the 
  examination is made by the party who called the witness, it is called an 
  examination in chief. When it is made by the other party, it is known by the 
  name of cross-examination. (q.v.) 
       2. The examination is to be made in open court, when practicable; but 
  when,: on account of age, sickness, or other cause, the witness cannot be so 
  examined, then it may be made before authorized commissioners. In the 
  examination in chief the counsel cannot ask leading questions, except in 
  particular cases. Vide Cross-examination; Leading question. 
       3. The laws of the several states require the private examination of a 
  feme covert before a competent officer, in order to pass her title to her 
  own real estate or the interest she has in that of her husband: as to the 
  mode in which this is to be done, see Acknowledgment. See, also, 3 Call, R. 
  394; 5 Mason's R. 59; 1 Hill, R. 110; 4 Leigh, R. 498; 2 Gill & John. 1; 3 
  Rand. R. 468 1 Monr. R. 49; 3 Monr. R. 397; 1 Edw. R. 572; 3 Yerg. R. 548 1 
  Yerg. R. 413 3 J. J. Marsh. R. 241 2 A. K. Marsh. R. 67; 6 Wend. R. 9; 1 
  Dall. 11, 17; 3 Yeates, R. 471; 8 S. & R. 299; 4 S. & R. 273. 

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