testimony

noun
tes·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈte-stə-ˌmō-nē \
plural testimonies

Definition of testimony

1a : 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
2a : an open acknowledgment
b : a public profession of religious experience
3a(1) : the tablets inscribed with the Mosaic law
(2) : the ark containing the tablets
b : a divine decree attested in the Scriptures

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Examples of testimony in a Sentence

The jury heard 10 days of testimony. There were contradictions in her testimony. the personal testimonies of survivors of the war It is testimony to her courage and persistence that she worked for so long in the face of such adversity. The popularity of diet fads is a testimony to the fact that people want a quick fix for their health and weight problems.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “It’s All Coming Home to Roost”," 16 Dec. 2018 The first recommended video was from MSNBC, detailing James Comey’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. Jane Coaston, Vox, "YouTube’s conspiracy theory crisis, explained," 12 Dec. 2018 At the conclusion of Tuesday’s testimony U.S. District Judge John F. Walter gave attorneys for both sides until Feb. 10 to submit post-trial motions and arguments. John Rogers, The Seattle Times, "Spanish museum, California family in court over disputed art," 4 Dec. 2018 Kavanaugh’s televised circus was the most riveting legal show since Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas in 1991. James Atlas, Town & Country, "The Year of the Celebrity Super Lawyer," 3 Dec. 2018 Sage Lucero, who graduated in June 2018, started the petition at the beginning of October following Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony during Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing. Charlotte West, Teen Vogue, "SCAD Building Named After Clarence Thomas Sparks Opposing Petitions," 22 Oct. 2018 At least as important, such moves could blunt the concerns of legislators, who made social media addiction a talking point in Zuckerberg’s testimony before Senate committees in April. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Facebook Is Developing a Time-Management Tool for Users," 23 June 2018 Kapelsohn’s testimony clashed with the statements of forensic and medical experts hired by the LeGrier family. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago cop justified in shooting bat-wielding teen, city expert testifies," 22 June 2018 Real estate agent contradicts defense lawyers Norton’s testimony concluded and prosecutors moved on to the next witness, former Mesa Councilman Rex Griswold, who was involved in a real estate transaction in the case. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Karma or revenge? Defense attorneys grill witness in Arizona utility bribery trial," 12 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of testimony

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a(1)

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for testimony

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for testimony

The first known use of testimony was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for testimony

testimony

noun

English Language Learners Definition of testimony

: 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

noun
tes·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈte-stə-ˌmō-nē \
plural testimonies

Kids Definition of testimony

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

testimony

noun
tes·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈtes-tə-ˌmō-nē \
plural testimonies

Legal Definition of testimony

: 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

Other Words from testimony

testimonial \ ˌtes-​tə-​ˈmō-​nē-​əl \ adjective
testimonially adverb

History and Etymology for testimony

Latin testimonium, from testis witness

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