A vessel or melting pot, composed of some very refractory substance, as clay, graphite, platinum, and used for melting and calcining substances which require a strong degree of heat, as metals, ores, etc.
- A vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining materials at high temperatures.
- A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial. See Synonyms at trial.
- A place, time, or situation characterized by the confluence of powerful intellectual, social, economic, or political forces: "Macroeconomics . . . was cast in the crucible of the Depression” ( Peter Passell).