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

Lindberg argued that the glove DNA, circumstantial evidence and the testimony of the friends from the Ha’ Penny Inn all pointed to Littleton. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Man found guilty in 1986 cold-case Lemon Grove murder," 3 July 2018 Facebook provided the document to the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in response to hundreds of questions from the committee, which quizzed Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg during testimony in April. Georgia Wells, WSJ, "Facebook Reveals Apps, Others That Got Special Access to User Data," 1 July 2018 After sitting through a week-and-a-half of evidence and testimony — ranging from dramatic re-enactments to numbing recitations of experts’ qualifications — the jury deliberated for about 3 ½ hours before reaching a verdict. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Conflicting answer in special interrogatory upends verdict to displeasure of jury foreman," 29 June 2018 This evidence is sprung upon him during his testimony against Salander in the third book, and he is led in handcuffs from the courtroom. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson teased WatchTV several times during testimony related to obtaining regulatory approval for the company's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. Marc Schneider, Billboard, "AT&T Unveils 'Premium' Plan That Includes On-Demand Pandora or Amazon for Free," 21 June 2018 Caputo learned for certain that Mueller knew about the meeting, and had texts to prove it, during his grand jury testimony on May 2 — so a further cover-up to hide its existence from the special counsel was obviously pointless. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Roger Stone suddenly admits to meeting with a Russian national to seek dirt on Hillary Clinton," 17 June 2018 Jackson said evidence and testimony shows that the victim ran away from home. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "She was held captive in a pit — but the man thought he was protecting her, Ohio documents say," 14 June 2018 Prosecutors and defense lawyers will be in court Monday to argue over whether some evidence and testimony should be excluded from the trial. Dave Collins, The Seattle Times, "Trial starting in false-rape case involving football players," 3 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

Latin testimonium, from testis witness

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Statistics for testimony

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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



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


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


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

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Comments on testimony

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