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3 definitions found
 for touchstone
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Touchstone \Touch"stone`\, n.
     1. (Min.) Lydian stone; basanite; -- so called because used
        to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak which
        is left upon the stone when it is rubbed by the metal. See
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Fig.: Any test or criterion by which the qualities of a
        thing are tried. --Hooker.
        [1913 Webster]
              The foregoing doctrine affords us also a touchstone
              for the trial of spirits.             --South.
        [1913 Webster]
     Irish touchstone (Min.), basalt, the stone which composes
        the Giant's Causeway.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a basis for comparison; a reference point against which
           other things can be evaluated; "the schools comply with
           federal standards"; "they set the measure for all
           subsequent work" [syn: standard, criterion, measure,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  47 Moby Thesaurus words for "touchstone":
     acid test, assay, barometer, benchmark, blank determination,
     brouillon, canon, check, criterion, crucial test, crucible, degree,
     demonstration, determination, docimasy, essay, feeling out,
     first draft, gauge, graduated scale, kiteflying, measure, model,
     norm, ordeal, parameter, pattern, probation, proof, quantity,
     reading, readout, reference, rough draft, rough sketch, rule,
     scale, sounding out, standard, test, test case, trial, try, type,
     value, verification, yardstick

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