ordeal by fire


Also found in: Idioms.

ordeal by fire

noble accused of crime holds red-hot iron or walks blindfolded and barefoot over red-hot plowshares to prove his innocence. [Br. Hist.: Brewer Handbook, 779]
See: Test
References in periodicals archive ?
She must have been reading Ian's stars by mistake because his ordeal by fire isn't over yet.
An extremely scholarly analysis of the phenomenon, featuring a wealth of case studies and examples, Bedouin Bisha'h Justice: Ordeal by Fire is a thoughtful and utterly invaluable contribution to anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies shelves.
The ordeal by fire that my medium of porcelain undergoes is the most extreme of all types of pottery, since the fabric of the clay itself (as well as the glaze) melts, so any weakness in the form is exposed and will cause it to collapse.
The siren's ululation, preluding the 71st major air raid of London's nine months' ordeal by fire, sounded at 10.
GORDON STRACHAN will face his first ordeal by fire as Celtic's new manager a mere three weeks into the season.
A climactic scene occurs when Marnie is arrested as a witch and to escape certain death she agrees to a witch trial in which she undergoes an ordeal by fire.
The game was rubbish but credit to an honourable man for surviving his ordeal by fire without getting his fingers burned.
The atmosphere was electric as the Geordies showed they were ready for the ordeal by fire.
This was an ordeal by fire, of which he has given an account in his classic primer for law school students, One L.
Ruin came suddenly when one of his disciples accepted an ordeal by fire to prove Savonarola's holiness.
The final chapter, after the agni parishka, the ritual ordeal by fire which actually is the instrument of her liberation, and after Wynn's death, serves as an epilogue: Dev leaves her, probably not to return; and alone, Anjali finds peace and the hope of a new beginning in the company of her Moslem friend Fatmah, "Fatmah-la-Balance.