Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make a declaration of truth or fact under oath; submit testimony: witnesses testifying before a grand jury.
  • intransitive v. To express or declare a strong belief, especially to make a declaration of faith.
  • intransitive v. To make a statement based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted fact; bear witness: the exhilaration of weightlessness, to which many astronauts have testified.
  • intransitive v. To serve as evidence: wreckage that testifies to the ferocity of the storm.
  • transitive v. To declare publicly; make known: testifying their faith.
  • transitive v. To state or affirm under oath: testified in court that he saw the defendant.
  • transitive v. To bear witness to; provide evidence for. See Synonyms at indicate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to make a declaration, or give evidence, under oath
  • v. to make a statement based on personal knowledge or faith

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a testy manner; fretfully; peevishly; with petulance.
  • intransitive v. To make a solemn declaration, verbal or written, to establish some fact; to give testimony for the purpose of communicating to others a knowledge of something not known to them.
  • intransitive v. To make a solemn declaration under oath or affirmation, for the purpose of establishing, or making proof of, some fact to a court; to give testimony in a cause depending before a tribunal.
  • intransitive v. To declare a charge; to protest; to give information; to bear witness; -- with against.
  • transitive v. To bear witness to; to support the truth of by testimony; to affirm or declare solemny.
  • transitive v. To affirm or declare under oath or affirmation before a tribunal, in order to prove some fact.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bear witness; make declaration, especially for the purpose of communicating to others a knowledge of some matter not known to them, or for the purpose of establishing some fact.
  • In law, to give testimony, under oath or solemn affirmation, in a cause depending before a court.
  • To serve as evidence; be testimony or proof.
  • To bear witness to; affirm or declare as fact or truth.
  • In law, to state or declare under oath or affirmation, as a witness, before a tribunal.
  • To give evidence of; evince; demonstrate; show.
  • To make known; publish or declare freely.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give testimony in a court of law
  • v. provide evidence for

Etymologies

Middle English testifien, from Latin testificārī : testis, witness; see trei- in Indo-European roots + -ficārī, -fy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English testifien, from Old French testifier, from Latin testificārī, present active infinitive of testificor ("I bear witness"), from testis ("a witness") + facere ("to make") (see -fy). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Having Cheney testify is truly pointless – he's made a career of lying and seems to be quite good at it.

    Cheney may be called to testify

  • That, as many ex-girlfriends of mine will testify, is quite untrue.

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Nir Yaniv

  • At an inquiry into the tasering death of amentally ill man in Nova Scotia, aclin­ical psychol­o­gist who has been called to testify is taking on the concept of “excited delirium”.

    hughstimson.org » Blog Archive » Taser Epistimology on Trial

  • Now under pressure from congress, Luskin has completely backtracked, telling roll call, quote, 'Whether, when and about what a former White House official will testify is not for me or my client to decide but is part of an ongoing negotiation between the White House and congress over executive privilege issues.'

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • The current potential for treatment and cure relies on evolution-based theory, by the way, stuff that intelligent design advocates testify is false.

    A Scientific Worldview?

  • The current potential for treatment and cure relies on evolution-based theory, by the way, stuff that intelligent design advocates testify is false

    A Scientific Worldview?

  • Specifically, has the White House offered to have him -- if you don't want to use the word testify, tell me what word you would use -- talk to members of the Senate behind closed doors?

    CNN Transcript Mar 20, 2002

  • The stored iron of the country is now exhausted, and the masters are using every diligence in their power to facilitate the supply, which still, as the advancing price of that great commodity will testify, is short of, and insufficient for the demand.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845.

  • Given the Republicans’ obvious disdain for making people put their balls on the line which is how we get the word testify, by the way, it would not surprise me one bit to learn that Hastert sat there not under oath, with his feet up on the table, shooting the breeze with his good buddy Doc Hastings.

    Think Progress » Hastert testifies over page scandal.

  • These aides said the White House believes Rice’s refusal to testify is becoming a political problem and officials are looking for a way out.

    mjh's blog — 2004 — March

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