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

Police have not found the woman’s body but have said evidence suggests Berreth was killed at her home in Woodland Park on or around Thanksgiving. Kathleen Foody, The Seattle Times, "Idaho woman charged in connection to missing Colorado mom," 5 Feb. 2019 Yet another study found evidence to suggest that college football experience can lead to a decrease in the volume of the hippocampus — a critical region for memory — compared to people who never played college football. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 There’s no evidence that Facebook ever followed through on any of these discussions, nor do the emails suggest that Zuckerberg lied to congress. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Facebook might not sell user data, but internal documents suggest it was certainly considered," 29 Nov. 2018 Look no further than the drugstore aisle for evidence: Earlier this year, L’Oréal named silver the hair color of the year. Lauren Mechling, Vogue, "Should I Break Up With My Hair Colorist to Go Gray?," 22 Mar. 2019 The evidence-free accusation that illegitimate moneyed or foreign interests are corrupting her opponents and dictating U.S. policy is her modus operandi. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, "Omar and the Conspiracy Democrats," 10 Mar. 2019 This proved useful for weather reconnaissance and, around the world, to sample the upper atmosphere for evidence of nuclear debris where US officials suspected the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Three high-flying birds soar together for the first time since the 1970s," 11 Nov. 2018 Maintenance logs, testimony from other pilots who’ve flown the jet, and other evidence should ultimately shed light on what happened to Flight 610. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The FAA, Boeing Issue Alerts for 737 Max 8 Planes After Lion Air Crash," 9 Nov. 2018 So there’s so much evidence now that practical help through that incredibly difficult period can help keep families together and kids growing up in a more stable home and on the right track. Eric Johnson, Recode, "We have to rewrite antitrust law to deal with tech monopolies, says ‘Positive Populism’ author Steve Hilton," 24 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Elle is aware that this kind of story is captivating for audiences, as evidenced by the sheer number of films with similar arcs, like the aforementioned La La Land and the recent Lady Gaga–led remake of A Star Is Born. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Elle Fanning on Ariana Grande, Fame, and Her New Movie Musical "Teen Spirit"," 3 Apr. 2019 And as evidenced on every girl, from show-opener Iva Maslac to Adwoa Aboah's rising younger sister Kesewa, these are not the innocent pigtails of our youth. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Alexander McQueen Just Pulled Off the Most Unexpected Hair Look of Paris Fashion Week," 1 Oct. 2018 That, in turn, has given the Heat enough hot hands to step in when others go cold, as evidenced by James Johnson's off night on a night the Heat still scored 119 Wednesday night. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is Heat fast-paced success in Whiteside's absence telling?," 22 Mar. 2018 Because the boy's got game, as evidenced by his Third Star of the Night on Saturday. Dylan Bumbarger, OregonLive.com, "Winterhawks Player of the Week: Kieffer Bellows," 6 Feb. 2018 Further, a perusal of said results suggests that the Prince has gotten better with age, as evidenced by this 1984 photograph: Anwar HusseinGetty Images God save the Queen. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Breaking News: Prince Charles Has a Cracking Bod," 19 Mar. 2019 Amal Clooney is one of the Duchess of Sussex's closest friends, as evidenced by her attendance at the royal's intimate baby shower in New York City a few weeks ago. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Amal Clooney and Prince Charles Launch a New Award Honoring Female Empowerment," 18 Mar. 2019 This particular species of python is a fairly common pet, as evidenced by its docile in-flight behavior. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Python on Plane Travels from Australia to Scotland Inside Woman's Shoe," 25 Feb. 2019 For many voters weary of Netanyahu’s long rule, Gantz’s fresh face is enough of a draw, as evidenced by the crowd at Tuesday’s speech, which was repeatedly interrupted by boisterous applause. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israeli ex-army chief launches campaign to replace Netanyahu," 29 Jan. 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

20 Apr 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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