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


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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Harris later reached a plea agreement and agreed to testify during Sweeney's trial. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, 9 May 2022 Arbogast, who was not asked to testify during Harris' trial and only followed the proceedings, said there should have been more of a show of support for Harris. Caila Klaiss, ABC News, 5 May 2022 Fitzpatrick was also the first to testify at Johnson’s trial. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 2 May 2022 For von Ehlinger, the assault report triggered a legislative ethics investigation, and a legislative committee required Doe to testify during the hearing. Rebecca Boone, ajc, 30 Apr. 2022 Harris, 24, of Lake Orion, is the first defendant in the case to testify, though others are also expected to take the stand. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 31 Mar. 2022 The juror was granted immunity to testify to the judge on Tuesday. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 8 Mar. 2022 That same year, Jackson ruled that Trump's former White House counsel, Don McGahn, had to testify during what was then a congressional impeachment inquiry into the president's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2022 The first accuser to testify did so under the pseudonym Jane Doe and took the stand on the second day of Maxwell's trial. Nathalie Nieves, CBS News, 21 Dec. 2021 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

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Time Traveler for testify

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for testify

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Testify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testify. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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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


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