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

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According to longtime North Korea watcher Joseph Bermudez at 38North, satellite imagery (above) provides circumstantial evidence that the submarine and the floating barge used to test missiles have both recently gone to sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Is North Korea's Nuclear Missile Sub Ready to Set Sail?," 19 Dec. 2016 There was numerous pieces of circumstantial evidence. Paul Larosa, CBS News, "Search for missing Marine wife "like finding a needle in a thousand haystacks”," 12 June 2018 One more piece of circumstantial evidence that feels worth relaying: Kang saved par on the hole, shot 64 and earned an invitation to the British Open via his third-place finish. Daniel Rapaport,, "FORE Questions: More Rules Headaches, Predicting Ryder Cup Rosters and Grading Tiger's Comeback," 3 July 2018 How, both ask, despite the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence, was Slater so obviously and badly railroaded? Sarah Weinman, The New Republic, "Arthur Conan Doyle, True Detective," 14 June 2018 Media: Scott Kingsley, Houston Chronicle Defense lawyers for Irsan have said both murder cases are based on circumstantial evidence, and argued he was not involved in either killing. Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle, "911 call played to jury in Houston ‘honor killings’ death penalty trial," 7 July 2018 Tim Cain Photo: Investigation Discovery The jury at Cain’s 1997 trial took just 2 1/2 hours to convict in this case based mainly on circumstantial evidence. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Reasonable Doubt’ Review: Lives on the Line," 14 June 2018 Lindberg argued that the glove DNA, circumstantial evidence and the testimony of the friends from the Ha’ Penny Inn all pointed to Littleton. Pauline Repard,, "Man found guilty in 1986 cold-case Lemon Grove murder," 3 July 2018 Skakel was convicted in 2002 of killing Martha Moxley in 1975 based mostly on circumstantial evidence and a statement Skakel gave to a private investigator that put him in the area where Moxley’s body was found. Courant Staff Report,, "State Can Proceed In Appealing Skakel Decision To U.S. Supreme Court," 12 June 2018

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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Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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The first known use of circumstantial evidence was in 1736

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More Definitions for circumstantial evidence

circumstantial evidence

Legal Definition of circumstantial evidence 

see evidence

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