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 That testimonial, and the adamant support of Hartline, can suffice for now. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Julian Fleming on the mend this spring as Buckeyes’ expectations remain high," 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, "The Client Experience: A Strategic Approach From Engagement To Retention," 6 Apr. 2021 The students were moved by her testimonial and formed personal connections with Moussa’s business. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: River Hill students provide help to restaurant during pandemic; more from readers | READER COMMENTARY," 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, "The Importance of Brutal Honesty in This Pandemic Winter," 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, "5 things to watch in Week 16 for the Chicago Bears, including the offense’s momentum and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols’ production," 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, "Minneapolis doctor wipes away tears in describing Covid-19's toll on hospital workers," 24 Nov. 2020 The latest testimonial to that can be seen in the Mr. Crappie Slab-O-Matic. Colin Moore, Field & Stream, "What’s New in Crappie Gear and Baits for This Season," 19 Nov. 2020 In the video testimonial, images of people hugging, holding hands and voting flash across the screen. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: How ads from the two campaigns differ in the final sprint," 29 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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, "Prosecutor: Chauvin ‘Wouldn’t Let Up and Wouldn’t Get Up’ as George Floyd Slowly Died," 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, "Southfield salon owner, hair loss advocate turns her passion into a business," 6 Mar. 2021 Many such investigators specialize in high-quality testimonial evidence. Philip N. Howard, Wired, "To Quash Disinformation, Researchers Must Work With Journalists," 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, "New & Noteworthy, From the Science of Life to Annie Oakley," 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, "The Real Housewives of Potomac recap: The word on the street," 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, "Songs of Loss and Reinvention," 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, "Gale Sayers’s Balletic Runs Obscure Football’s Brutal Endings," 23 Sep. 2020 The show will feature music, comedy and celebrity testimonial segments some of which that will explore issues and solutions for getting women back to work. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Women in Film Partners with The CW for First-Ever TV Special," 6 Aug. 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

24 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Testimonial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testimonial. Accessed 16 May. 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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