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 Unfortunately the question of Covid’s origins is likely to be adjudicated for the foreseeable future on circumstantial evidence alone, thanks to Beijing’s recalcitrance. WSJ, 28 May 2021 Her trial was based largely on circumstantial evidence and the argument that four deaths within the same family could not have happened by coincidence. Washington Post, 7 May 2021 But depending on the quality of the evidence, circumstantial evidence can at times be more powerful than direct evidence, Rendelman added. Fox News, 6 May 2021 Scientists used anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence and mitochondrial DNA to determine Helms’ identity. William Thornton |, al, 30 Apr. 2021 Instead, the officers focused on Jerry’s old criminal record and circumstantial evidence like Jerry buying his ticket only a few days before flying. Andrew Wimer, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 But over the years there was even more strange behavior, moments that, authorities believe add up to circumstantial evidence. Richard Schlesinger, CBS News, 27 Mar. 2021 The lab-leak theory is far from proved, but Tedros's openness was applauded by those who have argued that some circumstantial evidence points to the Wuhan lab as a possible source., 31 Mar. 2021 Although Butler’s body has not been found, Rodriguez-Cruz, a clerical workers who had been living in Northern Virginia, was arrested in 2017 by D.C. police based largely on circumstantial evidence. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for circumstantial evidence

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The first known use of circumstantial evidence was in 1736

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Statistics for circumstantial evidence

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Circumstantial evidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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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