evidence

noun
ev·​i·​dence | \ ˈe-və-dən(t)s How to pronounce evidence (audio) , -və-ˌden(t)s\

Definition of evidence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 one's accomplices
in evidence
1 : to be seen : conspicuous trim lawns … are everywhere in evidenceAmer. Guide Series: N.C.
2 : as evidence

evidence

verb
evidenced; evidencing

Definition of evidence (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to offer evidence of : prove, evince

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Choose the Right Synonym for evidence

Verb

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

Examples of evidence in a Sentence

Noun

There is no evidence that these devices actually work. He has been unable to find evidence to support his theory. Investigators could find no evidence linking him to the crime. The jury had a great deal of evidence to sort through before reaching a verdict. There is not a scrap of evidence in her favor. Anything you say may be used as evidence against you.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While there is widespread research evidence suggesting that pre-schooling yields immediate learning gains, these fade over time. The Economist, "The benefits of pre-schooling may extend for generations," 11 June 2019 In March, defense attorneys for Wagner said there will be no DNA evidence presented against him. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Pike County massacre: First trial date in the massacre of 8 in family," 11 June 2019 There is anecdotal evidence that some Indianapolis residents have benefited from the city's housing work during Hogsett's tenure. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Mayor Joe Hogsett says he's fixed 2,500 blighted homes. Does this look 'transformed'?," 11 June 2019 Trump has made that assertion repeatedly, echoing Barr’s judgment that there was not enough evidence in the report to support a criminal obstruction charge. Mary Clare Jalonick, BostonGlobe.com, "Democrats push ahead with hearings on Mueller’s Russia report," 10 June 2019 Into the 'burbs While road diet opponents claim that narrowing streets hurts business, this appears to be strong evidence to the contrary: Ferndale, a 3.88-square-mile city with about 20,000 residents, is booming. Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press, "Autos vs. bikes: Watch for shrinking roads in metro Detroit," 10 June 2019 There is little evidence that al-Alwi was a prominent fighter for al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court refuses to hear prisoner's challenge to Guantánamo detention 17 years into Afghanistan conflict," 10 June 2019 Some progressive Catholics have considered this to be evidence that the pope may be open to granting full Eucharistic communion to non-Catholics. John Hirschauer, National Review, "What Is Pope Francis Saying about Communion?," 10 June 2019 There is evidence to suggest dogs evolved alongside us and consequently are in tune with our emotions and bond with us through eye contact. Bronwyn Orr, Quartz, "Your stress is hurting your dog, according to a new study," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beyond lounging by the sea all day long, Selena also made time for some physical activity, evidenced by the adorable snapshot of a beach horseback ride. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selena Gomez Celebrates Her BFF's Bachelorette Party in Cabo San Lucas," 13 Feb. 2019 Listen Bar taps into a growing alcohol-free movement, as evidenced by the popularity of Dry January, when many drinkers forgo booze for the first month of the year. Charles Passy, WSJ, "A Speakeasy Without the Spirits Comes to Brooklyn," 23 Oct. 2018 Throughout the show, frontman Thomas Mars not only ensured that the crowd had the best time ever, but also made his own entertainment a priority -- evidenced by his desire to saunter through the entire crowd (not once, but twice). Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, "Phoenix Residency at Brooklyn Steel: 5 Best Moments From the Fifth and Final Night," 11 July 2018 The suit's certainly flattering in all the right places, as evidenced by dozens of photos contributed by real customers. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "People Are Obsessed With This $27 Swimsuit on Amazon—and Now It's a Best-Seller," 29 May 2019 Over the course of eight seasons, Jaime became much more complex, as evidenced by his relationships with Tyrion and Brienne of Tarth, for example. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Fan Theory Suggests Jaime Lannister Is Still Alive," 15 May 2019 As evidenced by the spread of tech startups outside of coastal hubs, talent has already taken root in countless cities from Denver to Chattanooga. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Why Amazon’s New York U-Turn Is Good for America’s Tech Economy," 16 Feb. 2019 And even pet tech costs took a leap, as evidenced by the plethora of activity trackers, smart feeders, and video monitors on the market. Sunset, "Americans Are Spending More on Pets Than Ever Before," 22 Jan. 2018 Residents there took the cold in stride as evidenced by social media images of cold-weather selfies and stories about stunts in the extreme temperatures, the Associated Press said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "So you think you're cold? How does 88 below zero sound?," 17 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of evidence

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1610, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about evidence

Dictionary Entries near evidence

Evian water

evict

evictee

evidence

evidency

evident

evidential

Statistics for evidence

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evidence

The first known use of evidence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for evidence

evidence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of evidence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something which shows that something else exists or is true
chiefly US, somewhat formal : a visible sign of something
: material that is presented to a court of law to help find the truth about something

evidence

verb

English Language Learners Definition of evidence (Entry 2 of 2)

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

evidence

noun
ev·​i·​dence | \ ˈe-və-dəns How to pronounce evidence (audio) \

Kids Definition of evidence

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

evidence

noun
ev·​i·​dence | \ ˈe-və-dəns, -ˌdens How to pronounce evidence (audio) \

Legal Definition of evidence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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 intentStoner 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

evidence

transitive verb
evidenced; evidencing

Legal Definition of evidence (Entry 2 of 2)

: to provide evidence of

History and Etymology for evidence

Noun

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

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