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

Apple Watch Series 5 Apple segues into a presentation of the Apple Watch with a series of video testimonials from people who experienced serious health problems and whose lives were potentially saved by Apple alerts. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Annual Apple event promises new iPhone, watch models against a backdrop of slowing sales," 10 Sep. 2019 Once under way, the meeting featured testimonials from mothers and their lesbian daughters about family heartbreak and forgiveness. The Economist, "Gay Chinese take a modest first step towards civil unions," 5 Sep. 2019 Uber rolled out a website this week full of testimonials from drivers asking that California lawmakers preserve their independent contractor status and keep their jobs flexible. Wired, "A California Bill Has Uber and Lyft Running Scared," 30 Aug. 2019 After a few rounds of call-and-response chanting and testimonials from individual staffers, someone adjusted the rally's microphone for the next speaker's tall, lanky frame. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech," 13 Aug. 2019 Customer testimonials do the same, and can qualify as a dark pattern if their source isn’t clear. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, "These are the shady tricks shopping sites use to get your money and info," 12 Aug. 2019 Immigration attorneys filed a brief in federal court last month with testimonials from children there. CBS News, "Alex Azar says HHS is trying to reunite migrant children at Homestead center "as quickly as possible"," 28 June 2019 Along with local testimonials, high-profile celebrities are bringing attention to this wellness trend. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "Buyer beware: CBD products could be this century’s snake oil," 7 June 2019 But use Google to look for information on CBD oil, and one is likely to land on web pages promoting the products, with testimonials made to look like medical advice. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "CBD oil has made believers out of these Alabamians," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

17 Sep 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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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).


concealment of treason or felony

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