circumstantial evidence

noun

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

Still, with a number of kings (including Edward II), there's enough circumstantial evidence for historians to reach something of a consensus. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Beyond The Favourite: The Royal Family's Very Queer History," 22 Feb. 2019 And circumstantial evidence suggests that the system is likely to have vulnerabilities. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Experts criticize West Virginia’s plan for smartphone voting," 7 Aug. 2018 All this is circumstantial evidence; more direct proof has been lacking until now. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chocolate has an even earlier origin than we thought, new study finds," 29 Oct. 2018 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, SI.com, "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

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.

See More

First Known Use of circumstantial evidence

1736, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about circumstantial evidence

Share circumstantial evidence

Resources for circumstantial evidence

Statistics for circumstantial evidence

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for circumstantial evidence

The first known use of circumstantial evidence was in 1736

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for circumstantial evidence

circumstantial evidence

Legal Definition of circumstantial evidence

see evidence

More from Merriam-Webster on circumstantial evidence

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about circumstantial evidence

Comments on circumstantial evidence

What made you want to look up circumstantial evidence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!