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[tes-tuh-fahy] /ˈtɛs təˌfaɪ/
verb (used without object), testified, testifying.
to bear witness; give or afford evidence.
Law. to give testimony under oath or solemn affirmation, usually in court.
to make solemn declaration.
verb (used with object), testified, testifying.
to bear witness to; affirm as fact or truth; attest.
to give or afford evidence of in any manner.
Law. to state or declare under oath or affirmation, usually in court.
to declare, profess, or acknowledge openly.
Origin of testify
1350-1400; Middle English testifyen < Latin testificārī to bear witness, equivalent to testi(s) witness + -ficārī -fy
Related forms
testifier, noun
pretestify, verb (used with object), pretestified, pretestifying.
retestify, verb, retestified, retestifying.
untestifying, adjective
5. indicate, show, signify, prove. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for testify
  • Grant wanted to testify at the corruption trial of his secretary, but was talked out of it by his cabinet.
  • When they did, the nominee usually was not invited to testify.
  • One of the other two would have to testify against the other.
  • At the trial, which may be years later, eyewitnesses usually testify in court.
  • Photographs and other historical records testify to the former abundance of the sea.
  • Two defence witnesses were made to testify in secret.
  • Sedimentary rocks such as sandstone also testify to the quicker days of yore.
  • Supporters and detractors were called to testify at a podium a few feet from the president.
  • And even then he didn't testify under oath or by himself even.
  • No proponents of free speech were invited to testify.
British Dictionary definitions for testify


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to state (something) formally as a declaration of fact: I testify that I know nothing about him
(law) to declare or give (evidence) under oath, esp in court
when intr, often foll by to. to be evidence (of); serve as witness (to): the money testified to his good faith
(transitive) to declare or acknowledge openly
Derived Forms
testification, noun
testifier, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin testificārī, from testis witness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for testify

late 14c., "to serve as evidence of," from Latin testificari "bear witness," from testis "witness" (see testament) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Biblical sense of "openly profess one's faith and devotion" is attested from 1520s. Related: Testified; testifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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