What Is the Origin of the Word Test?


Quick Answer

The word "test" derives from Middle English, in which it referred to a vessel used to treat gold or silver alloys or ore. The Middle English word derived from the Latin "testum," meaning earthen pot, or from the variant form "testa," meaning jug or shell.

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Full Answer

The noun "test" can be traced to the 14th century and the verb to the 17th century. As a noun, the word is used to describe a critical examination, observation or evaluation. As a verb, it means to take measures to check the quality, performance or reliability of an object or person. It can also be used in an adjectival sense, as in the expression "test case."

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