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

Noah was sent back to live with his parents the following year, after a medical evaluation concluded that the injury to Ursula Cuatro’s sibling wasn’t the result of abuse — and after social workers found no evidence of drug use by Noah’s father. Matt Stiles, Los Angeles Times, "Boy’s death seemed like a failure of L.A.'s child-welfare system. It wasn’t so simple," 16 Sep. 2019 The Committee on Judicial Performance and the Santa Clara County Bar association found no evidence of bias or wrongdoing in any of Judge Persky’s cases. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Cupertino school talks safety, but hired Persky to coach girls?," 15 Sep. 2019 In their study, Dodiya and his colleagues found evidence that bacteria can influence Alzheimer’s symptoms in male mice. Jenna Sternberg, Smithsonian, "The Gut Microbiome Could Speed Up the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease," 13 Sep. 2019 In the dim, red light of an alien sun, scientists have found the first evidence for water in the atmosphere of a rocky planet - offering a tantalizing new target in the search for life in the universe. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "Scientists say they found their first potentially habitable planet with water in its skies," 12 Sep. 2019 Police found evidence of gunfire, but the shooting victim had already gone to the hospital in a private vehicle and was taken to a trauma center with serious injuries. oregonlive, "Man who police say fled to Idaho after Portland bar shooting charged with attempted murder," 12 Sep. 2019 Fifteen years after trawling was halted on some New Zealand seamounts, Clark and other researchers found little evidence of recovery. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019 But then the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza came along and suggested an alternate method, which Gilbert found evidence to support 200 years later. Jeff Stibel, USA TODAY, "This is why liars can outsmart your brain," 11 Sep. 2019 Samples collected in the past month found widespread evidence of potentially harmful listeria bacteria around the store, leading inspectors to order the deli counter shut on Aug. 27. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Penn Dutch market in Hollywood closed for ‘repairs’ after second flare-up of listeria bacteria," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One is his closing speed, as evidenced here in a futile attempt to prevent Indiana’s late first-half fleaflicker from becoming a touchdown: ... and his ability and willingness to land a big hit when necessary. Nathan Baird, cleveland.com, "Is Ohio State football’s defense ready for Clemson and Alabama? Buckeye Rewatch," 16 Sep. 2019 Virtually any late-night venture requires trial and error, as evidenced by the evolution of the two NBC shows that precede Singh. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Lilly Singh brings energy to NBC's 'A Little Late' date," 16 Sep. 2019 But public understanding of trade economics, and even trade terms, remains limited, as evidenced by emails from readers. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Time to explain the basics of trade," 15 Sep. 2019 But designers are keeping the pattern in bloom well into fall/winter in 2019, as evidenced by recent runway showings from Balenciaga, Giambattista Valli, Coach, among others. Glamour, "How to Wear Florals This Fall," 13 Sep. 2019 TJ Green outplayed Johnson at Stanford, as evidenced by Fitzgerald’s decision to start Green in the third quarter. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Scenes from an Italian restaurant: 5 takeaways from Pat Fitzgerald’s media session at Spiaggia, including Hunter Johnson’s need to ‘grip it and rip it’," 5 Sep. 2019 Trade’s function as a political cudgel has lately seen a renaissance, as evidenced by its use in situations like Japan and South Korea’s escalating dispute over reparations for historic abuses during Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Charlie Campbell/beijing, Time, "As the U.S.-China Trade War Escalates, Pocketbooks Feel the Pain," 5 Sep. 2019 Still, nothing beats a little comfort on a long journey, as evidenced by Irina Shayk, who touched down at the JFK airport in New York today wearing no-fuss sweats. Vogue, "Irina Shayk Finds the Most Relatable Airport Style Hack," 29 Aug. 2019 But as evidenced by how Australia battled the U.S. twice in a pair of exhibitions in Melbourne, and beat the Americans there on Saturday, at least some of the world's best teams aren't exactly fearful of the two-time defending World Cup champions. Tim Reynolds, courant.com, "Basketball’s World Cup will have star power, in an international sense," 25 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

21 Sep 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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