tes·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈte-stə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce testimony (audio) \
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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Prosecutors disagreed, saying that those offering defense testimony were not expert enough on the juvenile care programs. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 May 2022 But Tuesday’s testimony was nowhere close to what Duke told the GBI before his arrest. Alexis Stevens, ajc, 18 May 2022 Your lawsuit FAQs, answered The Australia trip has been met with differing testimony. Staff And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 18 May 2022 Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer released a new trial schedule on Tuesday that wraps up jury selection by June 8 and begins opening statements and testimony on June 27. Rafael Olmeda, Sun Sentinel, 17 May 2022 Relying on that promise, Cosby gave damaging deposition testimony related to Constand that later was used against him, the court found. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 17 May 2022 For instance, Janet Yellen has already come out with a statement referencing Terra’s spectacular tumble and pushing for more stablecoin regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee. Rahul Rai, Forbes, 17 May 2022 After a weeklong break, testimony resumed Monday in the courtroom battle between the exes. Nardine Saadstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2022 Meanwhile, Heard’s testimony is mocked and ridiculed. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 17 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About testimony

Time Traveler for testimony

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near testimony



testimony meeting

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Statistics for testimony

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Testimony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testimony. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for testimony


tes·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈte-stə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce testimony (audio) \
plural testimonies

Kids Definition of testimony

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


tes·​ti·​mo·​ny | \ ˈtes-tə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce testimony (audio) \
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 How to pronounce testimony (audio) \ adjective
testimonially adverb

History and Etymology for testimony

Latin testimonium, from testis witness

More from Merriam-Webster on testimony

Nglish: Translation of testimony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of testimony for Arabic Speakers


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