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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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 Roxanne Amick’s death in 2006 went unsolved for almost a decade until new DNA matching techniques bolstered circumstantial evidence tying her husband, Michael Amick, to the killing. Ian Duncan,, "Ex-Baltimore County man tied to wife's decade-old murder by DNA evidence is sentenced to 30 years," 22 June 2018 Scientists used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched his family as well as anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Missing for 67 years, homecoming Saturday for Gary soldier," 21 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

26 Sep 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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