noun tes·ti·mo·ny \ ˈte-stə-ˌmō-nē \
|Updated on: 11 Jul 2018

Definition of testimony

plural testimonies
1 a : a solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official
b : firsthand authentication of a fact : evidence
c : an outward sign
2 a : an open acknowledgment
b : a public profession of religious experience
3 a (1) : the tablets inscribed with the Mosaic law
(2) : the ark containing the tablets
b : a divine decree attested in the Scriptures

Examples of testimony in a Sentence

  1. The jury heard 10 days of testimony.

  2. There were contradictions in her testimony.

  3. the personal testimonies of survivors of the war

  4. It is testimony to her courage and persistence that she worked for so long in the face of such adversity.

  5. The popularity of diet fads is a testimony to the fact that people want a quick fix for their health and weight problems.

Recent Examples of testimony from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'testimony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of testimony

Middle English testimonie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin testimonium Decalogue, from Latin, evidence, witness, from testis witness — more at testament

TESTIMONY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of testimony for English Language Learners

  • : something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising to tell the truth

  • : proof or evidence that something exists or is true

TESTIMONY Defined for Kids


noun tes·ti·mo·ny \ ˈte-stə-ˌmō-nē \

Definition of testimony for Students

plural testimonies
: a statement made by a witness under oath especially in a court

Law Dictionary


noun tes·ti·mo·ny \ ˈtes-tə-ˌmō-nē \

legal Definition of testimony

plural testimonies
: evidence furnished by a witness under oath or affirmation and either orally or in an affidavit or deposition
former testimony
: testimony that a witness gives at a different proceeding (as another hearing or a deposition)
Note: Under Federal Rule of Evidence 804, former testimony is admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule when the declarant is unavailable and if a predecessor in interest in a civil proceeding or the party against whom the testimony is offered had an opportunity and similar motive to develop the testimony.
negative testimony
: testimony concerning what did not happen; especially : testimony concerning what one did not perceive
  • negative testimony that the witness did not hear a train whistle
Note: Negative testimony is sometimes accorded the same weight as positive testimony when the witness was in a position to perceive something and was eagerly attentive.
opinion testimony
: testimony relaying opinion as opposed to direct knowledge of the facts at issue
Note: Opinion testimony may be allowed in evidence when it helps the factfinder understand or determine the facts at issue. Such testimony by a lay witness must be rationally based on his or her perception. A qualified expert witness may also give opinion testimony. The expert's opinion may be based on facts or data that he or she perceives directly or of which he or she is made aware other than by direct perception at or before trial.
positive testimony
: testimony that presents an affirmative declaration of fact and is based on the personal knowledge of the testifier
reputation testimony
: testimony concerning a person's reputation among associates or in the community


play \ˌtes-tə-ˈmō-nē-əl\ adjective



Origin and Etymology of testimony

Latin testimonium, from testis witness

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