tes·ti·mo·ni·al | \ˌte-stə-ˈmō-nē-əl, -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

The western-themed Give Cancer the Boot event featured a resource fair, survivor testimonials, live music, line dancing and a barbecue lunch. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Methodist West celebrates cancer survivors," 12 June 2018 To make his point, Damian brings out a long line of North Shore High girls to give testimonials about the ills of not pumping the brakes when trying to hunt down your would-be bae. refinery29.com, "Karen Smith Was Always The Best Mean Girl & The Broadway Musical Proves It," 8 June 2018 The testimonials stand in stark contrast to how various women describe their dyspareunia in the first minute of Ohnut's Kickstarter video. Marci Robin, Allure, "The Ohnut Is an "Intimate Wearable" Invented to Ease Painful Sex, and It's Raising Funds on Kickstarter," 17 May 2018 Yet a handful of patient testimonials grace the clinic’s website and carefully curated social media accounts. Lindsay Gellman, Longreads, "The Last Resort," 22 Mar. 2018 Decades later, testimonials to Hiss’s innocence have never stopped pouring forth. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Carter Page Is a Very Strange Republican Choice for Martyr in the Russia Scandal," 28 Feb. 2018 The parents point to D.C. Public Schools’ own testimonials that dual-language students often outperform their peers who aren’t in such programs on standardized tests and develop better problem-solving skills. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "Are dual-language programs in urban schools a sign of gentrification?," 3 July 2018 But a detailed 1983 article about the decline of the drive-in, written by The Chronicle’s John Stanley, gave data and testimonials that suggested the multiplex theater was the largest culprit for failing drive-ins. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "SF almost had a Sutro Drive-In in 1950, and more local outdoor movie history," 13 July 2018 Always keep your freelance profile exceptionally maintained, boast about the things that differentiate you from the competition, and if possible, include previous work examples, client testimonials, and recommendations. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "How to Thrive in the Freelance Economy," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Similarly, his concert was less a victory lap than a testimonial to a career defined by a restless musical search. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Paul Simon still searching after all these years," 7 June 2018 In a conversation Archine recorded, Boutte asked her to make a one-minute testimonial to come to her defense on social media. Terah Boyd, ajc, "Women say Gwinnett doctor invaded privacy with online video, photos," 4 June 2018 Andrea Pirlo's testimonial, despite all eight of the first half goals, just hasn't seemed to be enough. SI.com, "Wait, What? Twitter Gets Really Confused as Monday May 21 Sees a Night of Big Change at Arsenal," 21 May 2018 Don’t Last Always—suggesting that album title was a testimonial. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Luke Winslow-King has left New Orleans for his native Michigan, but the sound of the Crescent City still resonates in his music," 21 June 2018 These dishes, among the others featured in the cookbook, serve as delicious testimonial that Foreign Cinema, much like the Mission itself, remains a vibrantly diverse Bay Area destination that is continuing to evolve. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "Cook upscale Mission-style at home with ‘Foreign Cinema Cookbook’," 17 June 2018 Indeed, the company provided links to several sections where users can edit or add a testimonial to their websites. Matthew Walberg, chicagotribune.com, "Reese Mathers, the most satisfied consumer in the world?," 11 May 2018 After decades of carrying around testimonial letters from disease hunters and trying to get articles published in journals, Dorman’s arguments and those of his supporters are online videos now, laying out the case. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 1 June 2018 With nothing to play for, for either team; leading up to kick off, the match very much had the feel of a testimonial for Yaya Toure, who captained City in his final home game for the club. SI.com, "Man City 3-1 Brighton: Record Breaking City Side Victorious in Yaya Toure's Final Game at the Etihad," 9 May 2018

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

15 Oct 2018

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

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More Definitions for testimonial



English Language Learners Definition of testimonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to testimony and especially to legal testimony



English Language Learners Definition of testimonial (Entry 2 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

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Comments on testimonial

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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