testify

verb

tes·​ti·​fy ˈte-stə-ˌfī How to pronounce testify (audio)
testified; testifying

intransitive verb

1
: to make a solemn declaration under oath for the purpose of establishing a fact (as in a court)
2
a
: 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

1
a
: 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
testifier noun

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web That testimony appeared designed to undermine prosecution experts who have testified the Mercedes 43 GLE AMG was going 81 mph before Grossman braked slightly before impact. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Cash's brother and sister, who testified at the trial, were not present. Tracy Neal, arkansasonline.com, 14 Feb. 2024 More recently, the billionaire has been wrapped in multiple lawsuits, including a wrongful death suit stemming from the death of two teenagers in a Tesla Model S car in 2018—an appeals court ruled last month that Musk will not have to testify in that case. Brian Bushard, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Tenon pleaded guilty to pulling the trigger and agreed to testify against the other suspects. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 12 Feb. 2024 Multiple customers testified at the trial, saying that Shaughnessy’s drugs arrived quickly and were highly potent, according to the DOJ. James Hartley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12 Feb. 2024 Actress Mary Tyler Moore testified before Congress in 2001 on behalf of funding for diabetes research. Christina S. Beck, STAT, 12 Feb. 2024 Though three workers testified Alesch-Scholl was seeking to coach a hospital administrator’s testimony, investigators granted the lawyer great deference. Carol Marbin Miller, Miami Herald, 11 Feb. 2024 Dozens of witnesses testified for the state, including Masterson – now retired, Coshland and, of course, Amie's roommate, Michael Herman — the man who heard it all. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'testify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Cite this Entry

“Testify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testify. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

testify

verb
tes·​ti·​fy ˈtes-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce testify (audio)
testified; testifying
1
a
: to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief
could testify to the student's devotion to her studies
b
: to make a formal statement of what one swears is true
testified in court
2
: to give outward proof : serve as a sign of
yawns testifying to fatigue
testifier noun

Legal Definition

testify

verb
tes·​ti·​fy ˈtes-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce testify (audio)
testified; testifying

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
testifier noun
Etymology

Latin testificari, from testis witness

More from Merriam-Webster on testify

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