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 hollow place at the bottom of a furnace, to receive the melted metal.
A test of the most decisive kind; a severe trial; as, the crucible of affliction.
If American literature has a few heroes, Miller is one of them. He refused to name names at the McCarthy hearings, and his play 'The Crucible' analysed the hearings in the context of a previous American mass psychosis, the Salem witch trials. Jane Smiley