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 ?
News Special Unequivocally this DUCSU election is being termed a virtual ordeal by fire to uphold the sanctity of Bangladesh's history, in that all memories of who and what made it are preserved on its premises.
But Rahul would know from this ordeal by fire what he is really up against if he is hoping to give a serious shot at prime ministership in 2019.
She must have been reading Ian's stars by mistake because his ordeal by fire isn't over yet.
Only then will we come to know the North as we do the South and discover the full meaning of America's ordeal by fire.
For him, the exceptions were the bigger projects (Battle Cry of Freedom and Ordeal by Fire) which he researched and wrote one chapter at a time.
Bedouin Bisha 'h Justice: Ordeal by Fire. Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press, 2009.
Cultural-political anthropologist Joseph Ginat presents Bedouin Bisha'h Justice: Ordeal by Fire, a scholarly look at the judicial practice of trials by ordeal--where guilt or innocence is determined by forcing the accused to undergo a painful task--which originated in Bedouin societies and is still practiced in parts of rural Egypt today.
She emerges chastened by this ordeal by fire. And despite, or because of, the existential threat, Ilana experiences Israel, almost against her will, in her father's way.
Not surprisingly, the members of the group all emerge stronger for their ordeal by fire, though in relatively nuanced ways.
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 10.53 p.m.