testify

verb
tes·​ti·​fy | \ ˈte-stə-ˌfī How to pronounce testify (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from testify

testifier \ ˈte-​stə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce testifier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for testify

Synonyms

attest, depose, swear, witness

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 constitutional right protects U.S. citizens from self-incrimination while testifying. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "What's Next for Tyreek Hill After Not Being Charged in Child Abuse Investigation?," 7 June 2019 This is very true, as Chinese authorities would testify. David Meyer, Fortune, "Russia's Latest Internet Crackdown Targets Tools for Avoiding Online Censorship," 7 June 2019 The woman, referred to in court only as Jane Doe 4, testified last week that Winslow raped her at a San Diego-area house party in 2003. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Winslow II jury asks to re-hear rape accuser’s testimony," 6 June 2019 In Normandy, shortly before Trump delivered his remarks, Fox News’s Laura Ingraham asked him about the prospect of Mueller testifying before Congress. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Debate About the Best Way to Get Donald Trump Out of Office," 6 June 2019 Gray was the sole nongovernmental witness at the hearing, testifying alone after a break in the hearing so committee members could cast a series of votes on the Senate floor. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Powerful U.S. senator calls for vetting NIH grantees at hearing on foreign influences," 6 June 2019 The White House blocked McGahn, who was a key witness in Mueller’s report, from testifying. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Pelosi says she’d rather see Trump ‘in prison,’ not impeached," 6 June 2019 Callers to Crimestoppers do not have to give their names or testify to earn up to $2,500 for tips that lead to an indictment. Michelle Hunter, nola.com, "Suspect in LaPlace burglaries caught on camera jogging through backyard," 6 June 2019 Moore took a gun, Holmes took a knife and Watts brought an ax, Pettus testified. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al.com, "8 charged in burglary and stabbing death of 21-year-old in Madison," 5 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about testify

Statistics for testify

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for testify

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce testify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce testify (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on testify

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

WORD OF THE DAY

showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!