burden of proof

noun phrase

Definition of burden of proof 

: the duty of proving a disputed assertion or charge

Examples of burden of proof in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As always, the burden of proof rests with the speaker, so the president once again earns Four Pinocchios. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Trump’s claim that immigrants bring ‘tremendous crime’ is still wrong," 18 Jan. 2018 Mulligan said there might be ways to overcome the murder admission, but Henry needed to meet a large burden of proof to justify having committed such a serious offense. Hannah Dreier, Daily Intelligencer, "Teen Who Faced Deportation After He Informed on MS-13 Gets Temporary Reprieve," 6 Apr. 2018 Inquiries by the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission could take years and bear a high burden of proof. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Amazon isn't killing the post office. And Trump's ability to go after the online giant has limits," 30 Mar. 2018 In past years, the bill failed in Annapolis mainly because of a protracted debate over men’s rights, the appropriate burden of proof and whether men whose parental rights are terminated should still be required to pay child support. Washington Post, "Gov. Hogan signs bill terminating parental rights for rapists," 13 Feb. 2018 As our readers know, the burden of proof is on the speaker. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Does the U.S. keep immigrant children in cages?," 6 June 2018 The burden of proof is different in the civil suits, Houlé explained. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Harvey Weinstein on trial: All the questions about his legal battle, answered," 25 May 2018 Criminal law and civil law feature different burdens of proof. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could Gareon Conley Legally Prove That Rape Allegation Caused Draft Slide, Financial Harm?," 12 July 2018 The green card process is long and drawn out, and the burden of proof is on the couple. New York Times, "The Green Card Marriage Interview: Can You Pass It?," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burden of proof.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of burden of proof

1705, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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The first known use of burden of proof was in 1705

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burden of proof

Legal Definition of burden of proof 

: the responsibility of producing sufficient evidence in support of a fact or issue and favorably persuading the trier of fact (as a judge or jury) regarding that fact or issue the burden of proof is sometimes upon the defendant to show his incompetency— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr. — compare standard of proof

Note: The legal concept of the burden of proof encompasses both the burdens of production and persuasion. Burden of proof is often used to refer to one or the other. Burden of proof and burden of persuasion are also sometimes used to refer to the standard of proof.

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