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 Searches, some random, have uncovered evidence of human trafficking, terrorism, child pornography, visa fraud, export control breaches and intellectual property rights violations, according to the department. Washington Post, "Court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops," 13 Nov. 2019 Brandon Sheffert, a spokesman with the Peoria Police Department, said the department had no evidence of contacting Krauseneck or receiving calls to his home address. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Peoria man arrested on suspicion of killing his wife with an ax 37 years ago in New York," 12 Nov. 2019 The company — which is working with state agencies, researchers and technologists — is trying to develop an AI tool that would scour hyper-detailed imagery from satellites for evidence of wildfires largely invisible to the naked eye. Peter Holley, The Denver Post, "California has 33 million acres of forest. This company is training artificial intelligence to scour it all for wildfire," 10 Nov. 2019 No blood or evidence of anyone being injured was found in or around the cottage, the Benzie County Sheriff's Office said. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Missing Southfield woman involved in shootout Up North before disappearance," 10 Nov. 2019 Muslims have presented no evidence of exclusive possession prior to 1857. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "India’s top court paves the way for a temple to be built at the disputed site in Ayodhya," 9 Nov. 2019 More evidence of abandoning the deep ball, Mayfield ranks 12th in time to throw at 2.82 seconds according to Next Gen Stats. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Where has the Cleveland Browns’ deep passing game gone and will it ever return? -- Film Review," 9 Nov. 2019 Despite evidence of ballot irregularities that was revealed in a weekslong trial, Moore’s supporters lost in Superior Court. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: Tolls 2.0 and a recap of local elections," 8 Nov. 2019 The ball is a solid clay marble, perhaps evidence of children playing or adults gambling. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Caribbean excavation offers intimate look at the lives of enslaved Africans," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That was best evidenced by their literal front-row seats, an arrangement that led to a tearful reunion between co-stars Sophie Turner and Kit Harington at the start of the show. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys 2019: 6 Moments the Cameras Missed," 23 Sep. 2019 This was well evidenced by the 2017 law on scrapping roaming charges. Garret Martin, The Conversation, "How does the ‘unidentified political object’ that is the European Union really work?," 18 Sep. 2019 This is evidenced by America’s job losses and higher consumer costs from Trump’s various trade wars, contributing to a slowing economy. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "What Was Free about Our Trade Relationship with China before Trump?," 30 Aug. 2019 Weak consumption is evidenced by muted demand for automobiles, air travel, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in recent times. Rahul Menon, Quartz India, "India’s economic slump is far too deep to be tackled with mere tinkering of interest rates," 7 Aug. 2019 This was most recently evidenced by David Price’s 4⅓ -inning, 94-pitch mess Tuesday in the Red Sox’ frustrating and fully in-character 6-5 loss to the Rays. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "Nine analytical thoughts on why the Red Sox didn’t make any moves," 1 Aug. 2019 This is evidenced in a broad range of student work, ranging from sciences labs that students create from their own imagination in order to answer their own scientific questions to the films students write, shoot, edit and produce. John Benson, cleveland.com, "St. Edward High School challenging students with rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum," 29 July 2019 Such efforts are evidenced by the fact that Harris has already paid multiple visits to Texas, and campaigned in Louisiana and Alabama. Li Zhou, Vox, "Kamala Harris’s path to the Democratic nomination, explained," 15 July 2019 That was evidenced during last week’s Vancouver contest, in which Hart’s incredible right-armed diving block of a Nikolay Goldobin shot at a previously open net preserved a win with under six minutes to go. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Former Everett Silvertips goalie Carter Hart putting on one-man show to keep Philadelphia Flyers in playoff hunt," 11 Feb. 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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Statistics for evidence

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce evidence (audio)

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
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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concealed or difficult to comprehend

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