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

Noun 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 Yates received an outpouring of responses after her moving testimonial -- from people seeking help or comfort or simply expressing gratitude. David Axelrod, CNN, 14 May 2021 Terry recalled being asked questions about how Rebecca responded to the revelations in his memoir about his mistakes, but the idea for a joint testimonial came out of a speaking engagement in Vietnam. Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2021 That testimonial, and the adamant support of Hartline, can suffice for now. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 16 Apr. 2021 This could be in the form of a testimonial, a reference or a visual of a final product. Reena Khullar Sharma, Forbes, 6 Apr. 2021 The students were moved by her testimonial and formed personal connections with Moussa’s business. baltimoresun.com, 17 Mar. 2021 My goal is not to castigate Fauci or to provide a testimonial to the enduring wisdom of Rubio. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 31 Dec. 2020 Akiem Hicks again offered a testimonial for Nichols’ eagerness to learn, a trait that has been present since his first practice as a rookie. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, 25 Dec. 2020 The comments from Xie, associate director, division of hospital medicine, at the Hennepin County Medical Center, offered a heartbreaking testimonial of Covid-19's toll on patients and on the medical workers tasked with their care. Eric Levenson And Naomi Thomas, CNN, 24 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Last month, Ishak ruled that the DNA evidence tested by a Maryland State Police DNA expert was in line with the state’s new evidentiary and testimonial standards, effectively denying Parrish a new trial. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, 1 June 2021 The prosecution expects to elicit a testimonial conclusion from a police use-of-force expert that Chauvin used excessive force. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 30 Mar. 2021 For example, in a testimonial video, one client used the product on her daughter's hair to promote growth after a fungus had caused hair loss. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, 6 Mar. 2021 Many such investigators specialize in high-quality testimonial evidence. Philip N. Howard, Wired, 26 Feb. 2021 In testimonial-style sections, Sanders highlights individuals who have succeeded in a variety of industries: science, entertainment, business, art. New York Times, 26 Jan. 2021 Monique has clearly had the most consistently fabulous testimonial looks, and everyone agrees that Karen has changed the most and that Gizelle has changed the least. Jodi Walker, EW.com, 14 Dec. 2020 As for the border, why did Ahmad restrict her selection to a solitary, rather unsurprising testimonial about Mexican farmworkers in the United States, instead of including Gloria Anzaldúa or Esmeralda Santiago? Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 Fans and reporters could see his mind failing almost in slow motion, at testimonial dinners and autograph signings. Ken Belson, New York Times, 23 Sep. 2020

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Testimonial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testimonial. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for testimonial



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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