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

In Ghosn’s case, the judge at a Jan. 8 hearing said his continued detention was due to flight risk and the risk of witness or evidence tampering. Washington Post, "Why Ghosn’s Back in Jail and What It Says About Japan," 18 Sep. 2019 Both Riveras are charged with evidence tampering and interfering with a dead body. David Harris, orlandosentinel.com, "Documents detail elaborate father-son scheme to cover up Winter Garden teen’s killing," 17 Sep. 2019 So far, no evidence has been made public, however that task may be made easier for investigators by the fact that some of the missiles failed to reach their targets, the source said, and wreckage was recovered from the desert. Tim Lister And Nic Robertson, CNN, "Source: 'High probability' Saudi attack launched from Iranian base near Iraq," 17 Sep. 2019 The waveforms of those signals serve as an audio fingerprint—in this case, evidence for two black holes spiraling inward toward each other and merging in a massive collision event, sending powerful shock waves across spacetime. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fresh analysis of LIGO data supports “no hair” theorem for black holes," 17 Sep. 2019 But scientists have also found parabens in noncancerous tissue, and the FDA says there’s no conclusive evidence that long-term use of cosmetics that contain parabens is harmful. Tracy Middleton, Allure, "The Story Behind Allure's New Clean Best of Beauty Seal," 16 Sep. 2019 However, the agency says e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless and that there’s not enough evidence to prove it’s an effective way of quitting smoking. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio vape shops worry about going out of business," 16 Sep. 2019 That evidence led investigators to 18-year-old Matthew Marquez, who was located and arrested by the agency's Fugitive Apprehension Tactical Enforcement and SWAT teams without incident, Penzone said. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Man fatally shot by Sheriff's deputy was suspect in Phoenix fire station shooting," 16 Sep. 2019 Authorities on Saturday searched for Paul Farmer near Crystal Springs Reservoir, Highway 92, Interstate 280 and Canada Road in the hills above Belmont but found no evidence or leads. David Debolt, The Mercury News, "Belmont man, 84, missing for 19 days," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While September snowfall appears to have decreased in recent years, late spring snowfall may be on the increase, as perhaps evidenced in part by a stunning late May snowfall earlier this year. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Whatever happened to September snowfall in Denver?," 8 Sep. 2019 As evidenced in the trailer, the years haven’t changed the banter and relationship between playboy Mike Lowrey (Smith) and family man Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), who are reunited when a revenge-seeking bad guy comes looking for them. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back together in first Bad Boys for Life trailer," 4 Sep. 2019 Despite a 15-3-4 record last fall, Crowell noted that his team struggled with physically imposing teams, evidenced in a 4-3 loss to Silver Lake. Matt Doherty, BostonGlobe.com, "Despite withering heat and humidity, local teams hit the pitch to prepare for a new season," 22 Aug. 2019 And of course – inevitably – political operatives in our own country, as evidenced in Alabama’s 2017 senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore, have seen the value of trolling in our internal political fights. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al.com, "Researchers: How to beat Russian trolls," 27 June 2019 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are devoted to GoT, as evidenced in a 2017 interview when Prince William revealed their favorite TV shows. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "11 Celebrities Who Love Game of Thrones Just as Much as You," 27 Apr. 2019 Sikorski said the players loved volleyball as evidenced by their willingness to show up early at school to practice. Gary Curreri, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Tequesta Trace Cougars claw way to county girls volleyball title," 31 Mar. 2018 Cornyn, a three-term Texas senator who evidenced weakness in earlier surveys, can take solace in knowing that his potential challenger is still relatively unknown. Bill Lambrecht, ExpressNews.com, "Poll shows tight race for Democrats vying for Texas U.S. Senate seat," 10 Sep. 2019 The onset is sudden and dramatic as evidenced by Jeff’s 36-hour transformation from hulking outdoorsman to febrile patient. Hanna Krueger, BostonGlobe.com, "‘It decimated his brain’: Woman recounts husband’s battle with EEE," 27 Aug. 2019

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

19 Oct 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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