tes·​ti·​mo·​ni·​al | \ ˌte-stə-ˈmō-nē-əl How to pronounce testimonial (audio) , -nyəl\

Definition of testimonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a statement testifying to benefits received
b : a character reference : letter of recommendation
2 : an expression of appreciation : tribute



Definition of testimonial (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting testimony
2 : expressive of appreciation or esteem a testimonial dinner

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Did You Know?


In 1639, Scottish poet William Drummond responded to the political scene of his day by writing a facetious set of new laws, among them that "no man wear a . . . periwig, unless he have a testimonial from a town-clerk, that he is either bald, sickly, or asham'd of white hairs." Testimonials take different forms, but always, like in Drummond's recommended law, they provide affirmation or evidence. (Our word traces to Latin testimonium, meaning "evidence, witness.") In the 19th century, a gift presented to someone as a public expression of appreciation for service rendered became the newest version of a testimonial. Then, it was likely to be a statue or portrait. In the 20th century, we came up with testimonial dinners to show our appreciation or esteem. Testimonials (usually solicited) that endorse products or services are also a 20th-century phenomenon.

Examples of testimonial in a Sentence


He received a glowing testimonial from his former employer. her performance in this tournament has been a testimonial to the dedication and talent she brings to the tennis court

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Another health worker also proudly displays testimonials, except these are from the government for performing the same services that the midwife now denounces. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "When the state mandates family planning," 15 Aug. 2019 Dozens of testimonials from children at the facility were filed by attorneys in May in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, as part of a more than 600-page motion. CBS News, "All unaccompanied children removed from Homestead migrant detention facility," 3 Aug. 2019 In video testimonials, clients praise the company for saving them money. Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica, "Parents Are Giving Up Custody of Their Kids to Get Need-Based College Financial Aid," 29 July 2019 The women offered the camera glowing testimonials about their fun-loving host. Jack Bohrer, NBC News, "Tape shows Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein discussing women at 1992 party," 17 July 2019 Upon surveying employees and gathering testimonials, Fortune research partner Great Place to Work has compiled the list below to highlight what New Yorkers love about coming to work every day. Fortune Editors, Fortune, "The 60 Best Companies to Work for in New York," 16 July 2019 The website contains testimonials from trail users and a plea for the state to buy the land and incorporate it into Chugach State Park. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Popular trail on private land near Eagle River’s Mount Baldy closed to the public," 4 July 2019 The filing also includes testimonials from children and parents who were interviewed at the Clint facility. Graham Kates, CBS News, ""I'm hungry here at Clint all the time": Lawyers use kids' testimonies to seek access to Border Patrol facilities," 27 June 2019 As of Monday, the website has more than 700 testimonials. oregonlive.com, "Community fights Beaverton decision to demolish Curiosities Vintage mall for parking," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That testimonial alone is enough to inspire anyone to buy this Best of Beauty Award winner, but Barrymore then offers an undeniably excellent tip for making time to use it. Marci Robin, Allure, "Drew Barrymore Has a Genius Trick for Using Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial Mask," 26 July 2019 Manchester City have announced the first group of players who will feature in captain Vincent Kompany’s testimonial, following his departure last month. SI.com, "Manchester City Announce Players to Play in Vincent Kompany's Testimonial," 11 July 2019 Often, this involves the patient testimonial video—one of the most successful marketing strategies employed by stem cell clinics. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "YouTube Testimonials Lure Patients to Shady Stem Cell Clinics," 14 June 2019 Isabella Cruise explained in her testimonial, which was shared by email with other Scientologists, that training to become an auditor had changed her life. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Scientology ‘indoctrinated’ Tom Cruise’s children to reject Nicole Kidman, ex-church member says," 10 July 2019 The office wanted to make the testimonial experience a little easier for victims and witnesses. Jasmine Johnson, Twin Cities, "Meet Norie, Ramsey County Attorney’s 4-legged push for a ‘more humane’ criminal justice system," 2 July 2019 Kate Rawls is a walking testimonial for the BeachDig College Recruiting Showcase Event that rolled into town at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "College volleyball hopefuls keeping dream alive at BeachDig Showcase," 27 June 2019 The Southern Baptists are going to give us a testimonial. al.com, "Southern Baptist meeting drew 12,000, biggest convention at BJCC this century," 13 June 2019 MonsterCloud also received a testimonial in lieu of a fee from the Lamar County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The Trade Secret Firms That Promised High-Tech Ransomware Solutions Almost Always Just Pay the Hackers," 15 May 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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The first known use of testimonial was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of testimonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a written or spoken statement in which you say that you used a product or service and liked it
: a written or spoken statement that praises someone's work, skill, character, etc.
: an event at which someone is honored



English Language Learners Definition of testimonial (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to testimony and especially to legal testimony

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to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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