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 Scientists used a combination of anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence and multiple types of DNA analyses to test the remains and ultimately identify them as Reeves. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 19 Mar. 2024 His case reminded me to always keep an open mind when making a diagnosis — even in the face of persuasive circumstantial evidence. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 11 Mar. 2024 No physical evidence connected Tung to the crime scene — prosecutors assembled a case built on circumstantial evidence. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 4 Jan. 2024 Scientists used dental and anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence, and mitochondrial DNA analysis to identify Adams' remains, the DPAA said. Gina Martinez, CBS News, 30 May 2023 There’s circumstantial evidence for that because of this eerie connection between the mutations that evolve in patients with persistent infections and then the mutations that appear. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 24 Jan. 2024 But this is merely circumstantial evidence of gold. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2023 Prosecutors countered Tuesday that the purchases are key circumstantial evidence. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 3 Jan. 2024 There is also circumstantial evidence that in the early 1960s, Egypt flirted with the idea of developing radiological artillery shells and sought to import radioactive isotopes to that end. William C. Potter, Foreign Affairs, 15 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'circumstantial evidence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1736, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of circumstantial evidence was in 1736

Dictionary Entries Near circumstantial evidence

Cite this Entry

“Circumstantial evidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Legal Definition

circumstantial evidence

see evidence

More from Merriam-Webster on circumstantial evidence

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