testify


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Testify

To provide evidence as a witness, subject to an oath or affirmation, in order to establish a particular fact or set of facts.

Court rules require witnesses to testify about the facts they know that are relevant to the determination of the outcome of the case. Under the law a person may not testify until he is sworn in. This requirement is usually met by a witness swearing to speak the truth. A person who does not believe in appealing to God may affirm to the court that the testimony about to be given is the truth.

A witness may testify as to facts directly observed, which is called direct evidence; facts learned indirectly, which is called Circumstantial Evidence; or, in the case of an expert, an opinion the expert has formed based on facts embodied in a hypothetical question. The parties to the court proceeding are free to question a witness as to the truthfulness of the testimony or the competence of the witness.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the defendant in a criminal trial the right not to testify, so as to avoid Self-Incrimination. In addition, the rule that a person must testify when called as a witness has several exceptions based on the existence of a special relationship between the defendant and the potential witness. Among the most important of these exceptions are confidential communications between a husband and a wife, an attorney and a client, a doctor and a patient, and a priest and penitent.

The rules of evidence govern what a person may testify about at a court proceeding. Though there are numerous exceptions, generally a witness may not testify about what she heard another say if that testimony is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Such testimony is known as Hearsay. For example, if the witness testifies that he heard that john doe was married and this statement is offered to prove that John Doe was married, it is hearsay and the court will strike the testimony from the record.

Cross-references

Attorney-Client Privilege; Marital Communications Privilege; Physician-Patient Privilege; Privileged Communication.

testify

v. to give oral evidence under oath in answer to questions posed by attorneys either at trial or at a deposition (testimony under oath outside of court), with the opportunity for opposing attorneys to cross-examine the witness in regard to answers given. (See: testimony, trial, deposition, evidence)

testify

verb acknowledge openly, affirm, affirm under oath, allege, assert, asseverate, attest, aver, avow, be sworn, bear witness, declare, depone, depose, establish, express, give evidence, give one's word, indicate, make solemn declaration, profess, prove, show, state, state a fact, state a truth, swear, take one's oath, take the stand, testari, testificari, verify
Associated concepts: compulsion to testify, privilege against self-incrimination, testify in one's own defense, testify under oath
See also: acknowledge, adduce, attest, avouch, avow, bear, bespeak, certify, inform, manifest, notify, posit, promise, swear, verify, vouch, vow

testify

to give TESTIMONY.

TO TESTIFY. To give evidence according to law; the examination of a witness who declares his knowledge of facts.

References in classic literature ?
So that now, thanks be to God, we do not want, as Monsieur can testify, for partridges, rabbits, carp or eels--all light, wholesome food, suitable for the sick.
Monseigneur will be at hand to testify that it was freely given.
Every European vessel brought new cargoes of the sect, eager to testify against the oppression which they hoped to share; and when shipmasters were restrained by heavy fines from affording them passage, they made long and circuitous journeys through the Indian country, and appeared in the province as if conveyed by a supernatural power.
Moreover the schoolmates and early acquaintances of the general were ready to testify, on oath, that, to the best of their recollection, the aforesaid general had been exceedingly like the majestic image, even when a boy, only that the idea had never occurred to them at that period.
At any rate, it was now six months since she left the outside of the earth; and not a morsel, so far as the attendants were able to testify, had yet passed between her teeth.
By the effect of the West Wind's wrath the celestial bodies had gone into hiding for a week or more, and the last three days had seen the force of a south-west gale grow from fresh, through strong, to heavy, as the entries in my log-book could testify.
In spite of the rapidity of his passage, what D'Artagnan endured of impatience and anger during that short passage, the deck alone of the vessel, upon which he stamped backwards and forwards for three hours, could testify.
We were called up, one after the other, to testify.
The Hajji said: 'So testify before the officer who waits you in the town of Dupe.
I've bin over that graound with his writin', jest as he read it, in my two hands, and I can testify that he's got it all in.
Shuttleworthy's departure for the city; while there were others, again, ready to testify upon oath, if required, that Mr.
His kindness in stepping forward to her relief, the manner, the silence in which it had passed, the little particulars of the circumstance, with the conviction soon forced on her by the noise he was studiously making with the child, that he meant to avoid hearing her thanks, and rather sought to testify that her conversation was the last of his wants, produced such a confusion of varying, but very painful agitation, as she could not recover from, till enabled by the entrance of Mary and the Miss Musgroves to make over her little patient to their cares, and leave the room.