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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both Dulos and Troconis have pleaded not guilty to evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Bank forecloses on New Canaan property owned by company of Fotis Dulos, who faces charges in connection with disappearance of estranged wife," 10 Dec. 2019 There is no evidence that this transaction ever happened. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Atlanta Newspaper Demands 'Richard Jewell' Add Disclaimer Over "Reckless" Portrayal," 9 Dec. 2019 There is in fact good evidence that rising prices can get people to kick bad habits. Christopher Labos, Scientific American, "British Columbia’s Vaping Crackdown Could Offer a Roadmap for the Rest of the World," 9 Dec. 2019 May said officers found no evidence that the missing driver was wounded amid the gunfire. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Road rage victim possibly kidnapped after crash, gunfire in north Houston, police say," 9 Dec. 2019 Beau Rothwell, 28, is jailed without bond on charges of second-degree murder and evidence tampering in his wife's death. Fox News, "Slain Missouri woman looked up 'what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant' before she went missing: warrants," 6 Dec. 2019 Beau Rothwell, 28, is jailed without bond on charges of second-degree murder and evidence tampering in his wife’s death. BostonGlobe.com, "CREVE COEUR, Mo. — A suburban St. Louis woman whose husband is charged in her death had looked up “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant’’ on her cellphone before she went missing last month, according to search warrants.," 6 Dec. 2019 The occasional sight of women in prairie dresses and the huge houses with thick walls are the only conspicuous evidence Short Creek was once home to an American theocracy. The Economist, "Theocracy in America Short Creek starts to move beyond its past as a fundamentalist fief," 5 Dec. 2019 And while Republicans have accused Biden of wanting to fire the Ukraine prosecutor to thwart a corruption investigation into a company tied to his son Hunter, there is little evidence for that. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner assails impeachment inquiry at House Judiciary hearing," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other economists, however, have resisted this Scrooge-like view of gift giving and point to evidence that a present can actually have more value to the recipient than the price the giver paid. Jay L. Zagorsky, The Conversation, "How to pick the ‘right’ amount to spend on holiday gifts – according to an economist," 27 Nov. 2019 This is in no way an unlikely scenario, as evidenced by past breaches of Slack, Ticketmaster, British Airways, and many others that happen to fall victim to cyberattack targeting integrity. Wired, "Opinion: Websites Ask for Permissions And Attack Forgiveness," 19 Nov. 2019 Before the era of big data and text mining, what would evidence for such a claim even look like? Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, "A Hundred Years of T. S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent”," 27 Oct. 2019 York believes that climate change is evidenced by rising temperatures. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Changing Behaviors That Impact Climate Change," 23 Sep. 2019 By studying patterns in the sediment, Muller points to evidence that forecasts more severe hurricanes. Fox News, "Florida hurricanes predicted by scientist with unique technique," 20 Aug. 2019 That a new generation is in residence is evidenced by this peek at the renovated interiors. Neal J. Leitereg And Lauren Beale, latimes.com, "Hot Property Newsletter: Do the math," 16 June 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of evidence

Noun

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

Verb

circa 1610, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about evidence

Time Traveler for evidence

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for evidence

Last Updated

14 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Evidence.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evidence?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=e&file=eviden01. Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on evidence

What made you want to look up evidence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!