1

evidence

play
noun ev·i·dence \ ˈe-və-dən(t)s , -və-ˌden(t)s \

Definition of evidence

1 a :an outward sign :indication
b :something that furnishes proof :testimony; specifically :something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter
2 :one who bears witness; especially :one who voluntarily confesses a crime and testifies for the prosecution against his accomplices
in evidence
1 :to be seen :conspicuous
  • trim lawns … are everywhere in evidence
  • Amer. Guide Series: N.C.
2 :as evidence

Examples of evidence in a Sentence

  1. There is no evidence that these devices actually work.

  2. He has been unable to find evidence to support his theory.

  3. Investigators could find no evidence linking him to the crime.

  4. The jury had a great deal of evidence to sort through before reaching a verdict.

  5. There is not a scrap of evidence in her favor.

  6. Anything you say may be used as evidence against you.

Recent Examples of evidence from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evidence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of evidence

14th century


2

evidence

verb

Definition of evidence

evidenced; evidencing
transitive verb
:to offer evidence of :prove, evince

Recent Examples of evidence from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evidence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of evidence

circa 1610

Synonym Discussion of evidence

show, manifest, evidence, evince, demonstrate mean to reveal outwardly or make apparent. show is the general term but sometimes implies that what is revealed must be gained by inference from acts, looks, or words.
    • careful not to show his true feelings
manifest implies a plainer, more immediate revelation.
    • manifested musical ability at an early age
evidence suggests serving as proof of the actuality or existence of something.
    • a commitment evidenced by years of loyal service
evince implies a showing by outward marks or signs.
    • evinced not the slightest fear
demonstrate implies showing by action or by display of feeling.
    • demonstrated their approval by loud applause


EVIDENCE Defined for English Language Learners

evidence

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noun

Definition of evidence for English Language Learners

  • : something which shows that something else exists or is true

  • : a visible sign of something

  • : material that is presented to a court of law to help find the truth about something


evidence

verb

Definition of evidence for English Language Learners

  • : to offer or show evidence of (something) : to show or indicate (something)


EVIDENCE Defined for Kids

evidence

play
noun ev·i·dence \ ˈe-və-dəns \

Definition of evidence for Students

1 :a sign which shows that something exists or is true :indication
  • They found evidence of a robbery.
2 :material presented to a court to help find the truth about something

Law Dictionary

1

evidence

play
noun ev·i·dence \ ˈe-və-dəns, -ˌdens \

legal Definition of evidence

:something that furnishes or tends to furnish proof; especially :something (as testimony, writings, or objects) presented at a judicial or administrative proceeding for the purpose of establishing the truth or falsity of an alleged matter of fact — see also admissible, best evidence rule, exclusionary rule, exhibit, foundation, objection, preponderance of the evidence, relevant, scintilla, state's evidence, suppress, testimony, witness, Federal Rules of Evidence — compare allegation, argument, proof
best evidence
:evidence that is the most reliable and most direct in relationship to what it is offered to prove — see also best evidence rule
character evidence
:evidence of a particular human trait (as honesty or peacefulness) of a party or witness — see also character witness at witness
Note: Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, character evidence generally may not be used to prove that a person acted in accordance with that character. It is admissible for that purpose, however, if a criminal defendant offers it about himself or herself or about the victim, or if the prosecution offers evidence to rebut the defendant's evidence in either of those circumstances. The prosecution may also rebut a claim of self-defense by presenting evidence of the peaceful character of the victim. Additionally, the character of a witness with regard to truthfulness may be attacked or supported by opinion or by evidence of reputation.
circumstantial evidence
:evidence that tends to prove a factual matter by proving other events or circumstances from which the occurrence of the matter at issue can be reasonably inferred — compare direct evidence in this entry
clear and convincing evidence
:evidence showing a high probability of truth of the factual matter at issue — compare preponderance of the evidence, reasonable doubt
communicative evidence \kə-ˈmyü-nə-kə-tiv-, -ˌkā-tiv-\
:testimonial evidence in this entry
competent evidence
:evidence that is admissible, relevant, and material to the factual matter at issue
corroborating evidence
:evidence that is independent of and different from but that supplements and strengthens evidence already presented as proof of a factual matter called also corroborative evidence; compare cumulative evidence in this entry
cumulative evidence
:evidence that is of the same kind as evidence already offered as proof of the same factual matter — compare corroborating evidence in this entry
demonstrative evidence
:evidence in the form of objects (as maps, diagrams, or models) that has in itself no probative value but is used to illustrate and clarify the factual matter at issue; broadly :physical evidence in this entry called also illustrative evidence
derivative evidence
:evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful gathering of primary evidence called also indirect evidence, secondary evidence; see also fruit of the poisonous tree
direct evidence
:evidence that if believed immediately establishes the factual matter to be proved by it without the need for inferences; especially :evidence of a factual matter offered by a witness whose knowledge of the matter was obtained through the use of his or her senses (as sight or hearing) — compare circumstantial evidence in this entry
evidence in chief
:evidence that is to be used by a party in making its case in chief
exculpatory evidence
:evidence that tends to clear a defendant from fault or guilt — see also brady material
Note: The prosecution in a criminal case is obligated to disclose to the defense any exculpatory evidence in its possession.
extrinsic evidence
1 :evidence regarding an agreement that is not included in the written version of the agreement
Note: A court may use extrinsic evidence to make sense of an ambiguity in a writing subject to some limitations.
2 :evidence about a witness's character obtained from the testimony of other witnesses rather than from cross-examination of the witness himself or herself
Note: A witness may not be impeached by the use of extrinsic evidence.
hearsay evidence
:a statement made out of court and not under oath and offered in evidence as proof that what is stated is true :hearsay
illustrative evidence
:demonstrative evidence in this entry
impeachment evidence
:evidence that may be used to impeach a witness because it tends to harm the witness's credibility
indirect evidence
:derivative evidence in this entry
intrinsic evidence
:evidence that exists within a writing
  • the will contains ample intrinsic evidence of the testator's intent
  • Stoner v. Custer, 251 N.E.2d 668 (1968)
— compare extrinsic evidence in this entry
material evidence
:evidence that is likely to affect the determination of a matter or issue; specifically :evidence that warrants reopening of a claim or reversal of a conviction because but for the circumstance that the evidence was unavailable the outcome of the first proceeding would have been different
no evidence
:evidence presented that is insufficient to prove a matter of especially vital fact :a point of error that insufficient evidence has been presented to support a finding
parol evidence
:evidence of matters spoken (as an oral agreement) that are related to but not included in a writing — see also parol evidence rule
physical evidence
:tangible evidence (as a weapon, document, or visible injury) that is in some way related to the incident that gave rise to the case called also real evidence; compare demonstrative evidence and testimonial evidence in this entry
presumptive evidence
:prima facie evidence in this entry
prima facie evidence
:evidence that is sufficient to prove a factual matter at issue and justify a favorable judgment on that issue unless rebutted
primary evidence
1 :best evidence in this entry
2 :evidence obtained as a direct result of an unlawful search
real evidence
:physical evidence in this entry
rebuttal evidence
:evidence that tends to refute or discredit an opponent's evidence
relevant evidence
:evidence that tends to prove or disprove any issue of fact that is of consequence to the case
secondary evidence
:derivative evidence in this entry
substantial evidence
:evidence greater than a scintilla of evidence that a reasonable person would find sufficient to support a conclusion
substantive evidence
:evidence offered to prove a factual issue rather than merely for impeachment
testimonial evidence
:evidence given in writing or speech or in another way that expresses the person's thoughts — compare physical evidence in this entry
Note: Only testimonial evidence is protected by the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination.
in evidence
:as evidence
  • introduced a letter in evidence

Origin and Etymology of evidence

Medieval Latin evidentia, from Latin, that which is obvious, from evident-, evidens clear, obvious, from e- out of, from + videns, present participle of videre to see


2

evidence

transitive verb

legal Definition of evidence

evidenced; evidencing
:to provide evidence of


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