testify

verb
tes·​ti·​fy | \ ˈte-stə-ˌfī \
testified; testifying

Definition of testify

intransitive verb

1 : to make a solemn declaration under oath for the purpose of establishing a fact (as in a court)
2a : to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief : bear witness
b : to serve as evidence or proof
3 : to express a personal conviction

transitive verb

1a : to bear witness to : attest
b : to serve as evidence of : prove
2 : to declare under oath before a tribunal or officially constituted public body

3 archaic

a : to make known (a personal conviction)
b : to give evidence of : show

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Other Words from testify

testifier \ ˈte-​stə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

Synonyms for testify

Synonyms

attest, depose, swear, witness

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Examples of testify in a Sentence

She refused to testify about who had given her the information. She testified before Congress today. He agreed to testify against his drug dealer. He testified that he'd seen two people leave the building on the night of the murder. These statistics testify that the program is working. Several people testified during the revival meeting.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Both Kavanaugh and Ford testified in front of the committee on Thursday in what was an emotional day of testimony for both sides. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Bar Association asks to delay Brett Kavanaugh vote until FBI investigates," 29 Sep. 2018 Donham, then known as Carolyn Bryant and 21 years old at the time, testified in 1955 as a prospective defense witness in the trial of Bryant and Milam. Jay Reeves, The Christian Science Monitor, "FBI reopens Emmett Till murder case in light of possible new information," 12 July 2018 Ierardi took the stand and testified in his own defense. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Four decades have passed since five men were found dead at the Blackfriars Pub in Boston," 12 July 2018 Donham, then 21 and known as Carolyn Bryant, testified in 1955 as a prospective defense witness in the trial of Bryant and Milam. Jay Reeves, Anchorage Daily News, "‘New information’ prompts US to reopen investigation of brutal 1955 slaying of black teen," 12 July 2018 The city has threatened the ex-chief's key witnesses with retaliation: a police lieutenant whose job is on the line for testifying in the Hayse lawsuit. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Lawsuit: Melvindale uses abusive cop to make money off towing scam," 21 June 2018 Cook's victims will have the opportunity to testify in a Dane County courtroom Thursday, including six women whose cases were dismissed when Cook pleaded guilty to charges involving five victims. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Parents of Alec Cook, former UW-Madison student convicted of sexual assaults, say they believe his accusers, ask for redemption," 19 June 2018 Epstein may have scored something of a victory last week, with a settlement that — yet again — prevented women from testifying against him in court. Anna North, Vox, "Trump’s labor secretary once helped a sex offender stay out of prison. The Senate wants answers.," 11 Dec. 2018 Stone then recalled watching Anita Hill testify about Clarence Thomas on television in 1991. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Sharon Stone on Being a Mom to Sons in a Post-MeToo World," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'testify.' 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 testify

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for testify

Middle English testifien, from Anglo-French testifier, from Latin testificari, from testis witness

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Statistics for testify

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for testify

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

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More Definitions for testify

testify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of testify

: to talk and answer questions about something especially in a court of law while formally promising that what you are saying is true

: to talk about or say (something) in an honest and confident way

: to show that something is true or real : to give proof of something

testify

verb
tes·​ti·​fy | \ ˈte-stə-ˌfī \
testified; testifying

Kids Definition of testify

: to make a formal statement of something sworn to be true Two witnesses testified in court.

testify

verb
tes·​ti·​fy | \ ˈtes-tə-ˌfī \
testified; testifying

Legal Definition of testify

intransitive verb

: to make a solemn declaration under oath or affirmation for the purpose of establishing a fact : give testimony

transitive verb

: to declare in testimony

Other Words from testify

testifier noun

History and Etymology for testify

Latin testificari, from testis witness

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More from Merriam-Webster on testify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with testify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for testify

Spanish Central: Translation of testify

Nglish: Translation of testify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of testify for Arabic Speakers

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