circumstantial evidence


Definition of circumstantial evidence

: evidence that tends to prove a fact by proving other events or circumstances which afford a basis for a reasonable inference of the occurrence of the fact at issue

Examples of circumstantial evidence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This phone call should be viewed in light of several pieces of circumstantial evidence, Mr. Doyle said. Yan Zhuang, New York Times, 28 July 2022 After decades of tagging studies, there’s enough circumstantial evidence to be confident that many top predators do dive deep in search of prey. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 June 2022 There’s circumstantial evidence that Covid-19 originated from a lab leak in Wuhan, China, and this week brings into focus a new contagion from that country. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 Without a fresh flow of that robust information, the debate over COVID-19's origins has remained shrouded in a haze of circumstantial evidence. Sasha Pezenik, ABC News, 3 Feb. 2022 Fairfax County prosecutors unspooled the plot during the 13-day trial, building a case that relied on a range of circumstantial evidence. Washington Post, 14 July 2017 But there has been speculation of involvement by other, lower-ranking officials, and an F.B.I. investigation discovered circumstantial evidence of such support, according to a 2020 report by The New York Times Magazine and ProPublica. New York Times, 1 July 2022 The remains were sent to a laboratory at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where scientists used DNA analysis, circumstantial evidence and anthropological analysis to positively identify Bazzell, officials said. Jesse Leavenworth,, 7 Dec. 2021 Legal experts and her fellow suspense writers say Crampton Brophy was undone by a set of circumstantial evidence too weighty to ignore, including digital footprints that linked her to the exact make and model of pistol used in the fatal shooting. oregonlive, 28 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of circumstantial evidence

1736, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of circumstantial evidence was in 1736

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Circumstantial evidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for circumstantial evidence

circumstantial evidence

Legal Definition of circumstantial evidence

— see evidence

More from Merriam-Webster on circumstantial evidence Encyclopedia article about circumstantial evidence


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