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 Iraqi officials say their doubts are based on circumstantial evidence and long experience in the area where the attack took place. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, "Was U.S. Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran?," 6 Feb. 2020 Instead, prosecutors relied on circumstantial evidence. Nicole Hong, New York Times, "Trial of Programmer Accused in C.I.A. Leak Ends in Hung Jury," 9 Mar. 2020 Earlier Wednesday, Gerol tried to anchor that circumstantial evidence to some science. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Cedarburg restaurant operator guilty in drink spiking case," 26 Feb. 2020 There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that Weber and LaPlaca are friends, at least. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Did Peter Weber Fall for a Producer on 'The Bachelor'?," 11 Feb. 2020 Much has been made of the circumstantial evidence Amazon presented in its complaint over having lost the famed JEDI cloud computing contract to Microsoft (a potentially $10-billion boo-boo). Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Amazon tries to hold Trump to account, but nothing will come of it," 11 Feb. 2020 Instead a wealth of circumstantial evidence is seemingly boosting the odds that the candidate is genuine. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "The Curious Case of Proxima C," 15 Jan. 2020 These cases require a voluminous cache of circumstantial evidence both to establish the involvement of the accused and to show that the victim was definitively killed. Michael Gold, New York Times, "Jennifer Dulos: How the Police Made a ‘No-Body’ Murder Case," 13 Jan. 2020 Every piece of circumstantial evidence supports that. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Solving the mystery behind the disappearance of Kelly Dwyer," 2 Nov. 2019

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Circumstantial evidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for circumstantial evidence

circumstantial evidence

Legal Definition of circumstantial evidence

see evidence

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