The definition of a crucible is a vessel or container made of materials that resist great heat.
An example of a crucible is a container made of graphite or porcelain that melts only at very high temperatures.
- a container made of a substance that can resist great heat, for melting, fusing, or calcining ores, metals, etc.
- the hollow at the bottom of an ore furnace, where the molten metal collects
- a severe test or trial
Origin of crucibleMedieval Latin crucibulum, lamp, crucible, probably ; from Gmc, as in Old English cruce, pot, jug, Middle High German kruse, earthen pot (see cruse) + Classical Latin suffix -ibulum (as in thuribulum, censer), but associated, association by folk etymology with Classical Latin crux, cross, as if in reference, refer to a lamp burning before a cross
- A vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining materials at high temperatures.
- a. An extremely difficult experience or situation; a severe test or trial: “the emotional crucible of a wartime deployment” (Kristin Henderson). See Synonyms at trial.b. A place, time, or situation in which different social forces or intellectual influences come together and cause new developments: “Macroeconomics &ellipsis; was cast in the crucible of the Depression” (Peter Passell).
Origin of crucibleMiddle English crusible, from Medieval Latin crūcibulum, night-light, crucible, possibly from Old French croisuel, cresset; see cresset.
heating sulfur in a crucible
- (chemistry) A cup-shaped piece of laboratory equipment used to contain chemical compounds when heating them to very high temperatures.
- 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.
- A very difficult and trying experience, that acts as a refining or hardening process.