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[tes-tuh-muh nt] /ˈtɛs tə mənt/
  1. a will, especially one that relates to the disposition of one's personal property.
  2. will2 (def 8).
either of the two major portions of the Bible: the Mosaic or old covenant or dispensation, or the Christian or new covenant or dispensation.
(initial capital letter) the New Testament, as distinct from the Old Testament.
(initial capital letter) a copy of the New Testament.
a covenant, especially between God and humans.
Origin of testament
1250-1300; Middle English: will, covenant < Latin testāmentum, equivalent to testā() to bear witness (see testate) + -mentum -ment Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for testament
  • It is a testament to the historical divisiveness and prejudice that higher education is trying so desperately to overcome.
  • The result is a testament to economic irrationality.
  • The tomb stands as a testament to a living family, separated by history, now struggling to resolve its historic stalemate.
  • The detailed resolution of the current images is a testament to the success of the program.
  • The ongoing debate about how the pyramids were built is a testament to the brilliance of its makers.
  • It really was a testament to the healing power in plants.
  • It's a fascinating testament to the power of terrestrial radio.
  • It was a point of pride for members of the university's board, a testament to their prudence.
  • Apple's stellar rise is a testament to the growing influence of the digital world in the global economy.
  • The fourth pit is empty, a testament to the original unfinished construction.
British Dictionary definitions for testament


(law) a will setting out the disposition of personal property (esp in the phrase last will and testament)
a proof, attestation, or tribute: his success was a testament to his skills
  1. a covenant instituted between God and man, esp the covenant of Moses or that instituted by Christ
  2. a copy of either the Old or the New Testament, or of the complete Bible
Derived Forms
testamental, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: a will, from testārī to bear witness, from testis a witness


either of the two main parts of the Bible; the Old Testament or the New Testament
the New Testament as distinct from the Old
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 testament

late 13c., "last will disposing of property," from Latin testamentum "a will, publication of a will," from testari "make a will, be witness to," from testis "witness," from PIE *tris- "three" (see three) on the notion of "third person, disinterested witness."

Use in reference to the two divisions of the Bible (c.1300) is from Late Latin vetus testamentum and novum testamentum, loan-translations of Greek palaia diatheke and kaine diatheke. Late Latin testamentum in this case was a mistranslation of Greek diatheke, which meant both "covenant, dispensation" and "will, testament," and was used in the former sense in the account of the Last Supper (see testimony) but subsequently was interpreted as Christ's "last will."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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testament in the Bible

occurs twelve times in the New Testament (Heb. 9:15, etc.) as the rendering of the Gr. diatheke, which is twenty times rendered "covenant" in the Authorized Version, and always so in the Revised Version. The Vulgate translates incorrectly by testamentum, whence the names "Old" and "New Testament," by which we now designate the two sections into which the Bible is divided. (See BIBLE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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