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

Other Words from testify

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

Synonyms for testify


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 During the trial, Reffitt's attorney at the time called no witnesses, and Reffitt did not testify in his own defense. Robert Legare, CBS News, 2 Aug. 2022 Heslin, Lewis and their older son J.T. Lewis, who was in middle school when his younger brother Jesse was killed, might testify in the afternoon. Jim Vertuno, Hartford Courant, 1 Aug. 2022 Later that month, families of eight other victims will testify in Connecticut. Amethyst Tate, PEOPLE.com, 27 July 2022 She is expected to testify on Wednesday, as CNN reports. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, 26 July 2022 That same month, the families of eight other Sandy Hook victims will testify at the third trial, in Connecticut. New York Times, 25 July 2022 Four Trump advisers received subpoenas to testify, including Senator Lindsey Graham, erstwhile U.S. attorney and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Georgia Congressman Jody Hice. Maya Wiley, The New Republic, 22 July 2022 Survivors testify: Injured students and teachers testified about their experiences during the mass shooting. Victoria Ballard, Sun Sentinel, 19 July 2022 Matthew Pottinger, who served on Trump's National Security Council before resigning in the immediate aftermath of the riot, will also testify publicly at the hearing. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 19 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About testify

Time Traveler for testify

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for testify

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Testify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testify. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for testify


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.


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

More from Merriam-Webster on testify

Nglish: Translation of testify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of testify for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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