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noun tes·ta·ment \ˈtes-tə-mənt\

Simple Definition of testament

  • : proof or evidence that something exists or is true

  • law : the legal instructions in which you say who should receive your property, possessions, etc., after you die

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of testament

  1. 1a archaic :  a covenant between God and the human raceb capitalized :  either of two main divisions of the Bible

  2. 2a :  a tangible proof or tributeb :  an expression of conviction :  creed

  3. 3a :  an act by which a person determines the disposition of his or her property after deathb :  will

testamentary play \ˌtes-tə-ˈmen-tə-rē, -ˈmen-trē\ adjective

Examples of testament in a sentence

  1. The success of the album, which is only available online, is a testament to the power of the Internet.

  2. a person's last will and testament

Origin of testament

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin testamentum covenant with God, holy scripture, from Latin, last will, from testari to be a witness, call to witness, make a will, from testis witness; akin to Latin tres three & to Latin stare to stand; from the witness's standing by as a third party in a litigation — more at three, stand

First Known Use: 14th century

TESTAMENT Defined for Kids


noun tes·ta·ment \ˈte-stə-mənt\

Definition of testament for Students

  1. 1 :  either of two main parts (Old Testament and New Testament) of the Bible

  2. 2 :  2will 4

Law Dictionary


noun tes·ta·ment \ˈtes-tə-mənt\

Legal Definition of testament

  1. 1 :  an act by which a person determines the disposition of his or her property after death <a testament of property>

  2. 2 :  will

testamentary \ˌtes-tə-ˈmen-tə-rē\ play adjective

Additional Notes on testament

A testament was formerly concerned specifically with personal property, as in the phrase last will and testament. Now a will covers both personal and real property and the terms will and testament are generally synonymous, but the phrase lives on.

Origin of testament

Latin testamentum, from testari to call as a witness, make a will, from testis witness

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to expose to danger or risk

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