touchstone :

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  • n  a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated

  • We, one and all, desire to see the ethical and moral standards which are implicit in our religion become touchstone of our behavior.
  • He represents a touchstone of authentic biblical scholarship that, in my opinion, has scarcely been paralleled since the days of the 16th century European Reformers.
  • You know you've found a perfect cultural touchstone when everyone brushes past it on the way to opposite conclusions.
News & Articles


  • Garrett Reisman in Washington Post
    I think in generations past, we might be quoting poetry or Shakespeare,Reisman said. "It seems like movie lines are where our touchstone is."
  • William Pinkney in Forbes
    I've seen people just stand mute,said Capt. William Pinkney, who will sail for part of the voyage. "It's a touchstone to a past that rarely gets talked about."
  • Henry Paulson in Akron Beacon Journal
    In the United States, the exchange rate issue "has become a touchstone for broader anxieties about competition from China," Paulson said, warning against succumbing to the "fear that, due to China's rise, we will no longer be stewards of our...

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