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

As Jones-Rogers read testimonials of slaves gathered or published during and after slavery’s end as well as plantation owner journals, ads and other public records, something else became clear. NBC News, "It's not just men: White conservative women have played key role in abortion policy changes this year," 13 Aug. 2019 The testimonials, however, were misleading, an investigation by Michigan’s attorney general found. Martha Mendoza, Washington Post, "Priests accused of sex abuse turned to under-the-radar group," 29 July 2019 The testimonials, however, were misleading, an investigation by Michigan's attorney general found. Anchorage Daily News, "Priests accused of sex abuse turned to under-the-radar group," 29 July 2019 An app specifically developed for the plaza will allow visitors to use their mobile devices to connect to video testimonials of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. Kristen De Groot, The Seattle Times, "1st US public Holocaust memorial merges past with new tech," 22 Oct. 2018 So, the media coverage of MeToo in the US moved from curating news to pacing up testimonials. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A year on, #MeToo has lost momentum in India but we must keep the conversation going," 4 Sep. 2019 The program included a total of 65 hours of education, lectures, expert speakers and testimonials from Holocaust survivors. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida rabbis participate in Yad Vashem seminar," 22 Aug. 2019 With teenage self-consciousness and some disarming naivete, Adam studies trans testimonials on YouTube and awkwardly hangs out with his girlfriend’s trans friends. E.b. | New York, The Economist, "Rhys Ernst on the furore over his new film, “Adam”," 13 Aug. 2019 Events Info Group also links to a number of dubious-looking websites including B2B Data Shop, The Eventys and Star Vertex, which all have vague business descriptions, identical stock images and duplicate testimonials. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Scams Offering to Sell Festivals' Customer Data Highlight Ongoing Battle for Privacy," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

MonsterCloud waived its fee in exchange for a video testimonial featuring the Kaufman police chief, the president of TSM and the TSM technician who worked with Kaufman. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once," 12 Sep. 2019 The CCO Crush volleyball league prides itself on being a family affair and Benitez and Poulin are a true testimonial to that reputation. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Cooper City Optimist Crush is a marriage made on beach volleyball courts," 15 Aug. 2019 Netflix posted a four-minute video on YouTube after some fan testimonial about how the show changed their lives, and cast members took to Twitter to talk about the charity fund. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "‘Orange Is the New Black’ launches real-life charity named for Poussey Washington," 23 July 2019 In a testimonial, one Hilton employee cited flexibility to take care of personal issues among the reasons to love the company. Lydia Belanger, Fortune, "Millennial Workers Are Thriving in Age-Old Workplaces," 18 July 2019 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

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 2019

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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)

: 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 fake an opponent out of position

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