Evidence is anything that can be used to prove something — like the evidence presented in a trial, or the trail of bread crumbs that is evidence of the path Hansel took through the woods.

The word evidence is derived from the Latin ēvidēnt-, meaning "obvious." The word evidence shows up frequently in legal documents and dramas, because evidence is necessary proof in linking someone to a crime or crime scene. Evidence is used in many ways to show that something is true, as in "the chocolate stains around your mouth and the crumbs on the table are evidence that you ate the last of the brownies."

Definitions of evidence

n your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief

“the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is very compelling”
show 117 types...
hide 117 types...
probable cause
(law) evidence sufficient to warrant an arrest or search and seizure
cogent evidence, proof
any factual evidence that helps to establish the truth of something
disproof, falsification, refutation
any evidence that helps to establish the falsity of something
lead, track, trail
evidence pointing to a possible solution
(medicine) any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a patient and is associated with a particular disease
(medicine) any objective evidence of the presence of a disorder or disease
reductio, reductio ad absurdum
(reduction to the absurd) a disproof by showing that the consequences of the proposition are absurd; or a proof of a proposition by showing that its negation leads to a contradiction
check, confirmation, substantiation, verification
additional proof that something that was believed (some fact or hypothesis or theory) is correct
establishment, validation
the cognitive process of establishing a valid proof
evidence that refutes conclusively
refutation by example
crepitation rale
the crackling sound heard on auscultation when patients with respiratory diseases inhale; associated with tuberculosis and pneumonia and congestive heart failure
hypermenorrhea, menorrhagia
abnormally heavy or prolonged menstruation; can be a symptom of uterine tumors and can lead to anemia if prolonged
alkalinuria, alkaluria
a condition in which the urine (which is normally slightly acidic) is alkaline
a decrease in the number of eosinophils in the blood
haemoglobinemia, hemoglobinemia
presence of excessive hemoglobin in the blood plasma
haemoptysis, hemoptysis
coughing up blood from the respiratory tract; usually indicates a severe infection of the bronchi or lungs
hyperlipaemia, hyperlipemia, hyperlipidaemia, hyperlipidemia, hyperlipoidaemia, hyperlipoidemia, lipaemia, lipemia, lipidaemia, lipidemia, lipoidaemia, lipoidemia
presence of excess lipids in the blood
albuminuria, proteinuria
the presence of excessive protein (chiefly albumin but also globulin) in the urine; usually a symptom of kidney disorder
abnormal presence of amino acids in the urine; usually a symptom of metabolic defects
excessive ammonia in the urine
Jacquemier's sign
a purplish discoloration of the mucous membrane of the vagina that occurs early in pregnancy
Kayser-Fleischer ring
a pigmented ring at the outer edge of the cornea of the eye; a symptom of Wilson's disease
softening and drying and ulceration of the cornea resulting from vitamin A deficiency; symptom of cystic fibrosis or sprue
Kernig's sign
symptom of meningitis; patient cannot extend the leg at the knee when the thigh is flexed because of stiffness in the hamstrings
acetonemia, ketonemia, ketosis
an abnormal increase of ketone bodies in the blood as in diabetes mellitus
Koplik's spots
small red spots with white centers found on the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue; symptom of measles that appears one or two days before the measles rash appears
the presence of abnormally high levels of sugar in the urine
the presence of lymph in the urine
increase in the number of monocytes in the blood; symptom of monocytic leukemia
increase in the number of platelets in the blood which tends to cause clots to form; associated with many neoplasms and chronic infections and other diseases
an accumulation of dark pigment in cartilage and other connective tissue; usually a symptom of alkaptonuria or phenol poisoning
hypercalcaemia, hypercalcemia
the presence of abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood; usually the result of excessive bone resorption in hyperparathyroidism or Paget's disease
hypocalcaemia, hypocalcemia
abnormally low level of calcium in the blood; associated with hypoparathyroidism or kidney malfunction or vitamin D deficiency
hypercalcinuria, hypercalciuria
the presence of abnormally high levels of calcium in the urine; usually the result of excessive bone resorption in hyperparathyroidism or osteoporosis
hypercholesteremia, hypercholesterolemia
the presence of an abnormal amount of cholesterol in the cells and plasma of the blood; associated with the risk of atherosclerosis
higher than normal levels of potassium in the circulating blood; associated with kidney failure or sometimes with the use of diuretic drugs
abnormally low level of potassium in the circulating blood leading to weakness and heart abnormalities; associated with adrenal tumors or starvation or taking diuretics
kaliuresis, kaluresis
the presence of excess potassium in the urine
the presence of abnormally large amounts of sodium in the urine
abnormally low level of protein in the blood; can indicate inadequate diet or intestinal or renal disorders
excessive amounts of sodium in the blood; possibly indicating diabetes insipidus
abnormally low level of sodium in the blood; associated with dehydration
enlarged spleen and a decrease in one or more types of blood cells; associated with many disorders
acetonuria, ketoaciduria, ketonuria
excessive amounts of ketone bodies in the urine as in diabetes mellitus or starvation
vital sign
sign of life; usually an indicator of a person's general physical condition
amenia, amenorrhea, amenorrhoea
absence or suppression of normal menstrual flow
a sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure
chloasma, mask of pregnancy, melasma
a tan discoloration of a woman's face that is associated with pregnancy or with the use of oral contraceptives
a condition in which the ends of toes and fingers become wide and thick; a symptom of heart or lung disease
a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes; a sign that oxygen in the blood is dangerously diminished (as in carbon monoxide poisoning)
increased secretion of urine; if not due to increased liquid intake or to the action of a diuretic drug it can be a symptom of diabetes mellitus
prodroma, prodrome
an early symptom that a disease is developing or that an attack is about to occur
a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
a symptom caused by an illness or a drug
symptom consisting of a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue
purulence, purulency
symptom of being purulent (containing or forming pus)
protrusion of the eyeball from the socket
involuntary shortening of stride and quickening of gait that occurs in some diseases (e.g., Parkinson's disease)
a furlike coating of matter as on the tongue
haematuria, hematuria
the presence of blood in the urine; often a symptom of urinary tract disease
haemoglobinuria, hemoglobinuria
presence of hemoglobin in the urine
haemosiderosis, hemosiderosis
abnormal deposit of hemosiderin; often a symptom of thalassemia or hemochromatosis
cloudiness of the urine
sneeze, sneezing, sternutation
a symptom consisting of the involuntary expulsion of air from the nose
lump, puffiness, swelling
an abnormal protuberance or localized enlargement
a lymph node that is inflamed and swollen because of plague or gonorrhea or tuberculosis
a condition marked by uncontrollable tremor
presence of white blood cells in the urine; symptom of urinary tract infection
hyperglycaemia, hyperglycemia
abnormally high blood sugar usually associated with diabetes
hypoglycaemia, hypoglycemia
abnormally low blood sugar usually resulting from excessive insulin or a poor diet
icterus, jaundice
yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes caused by an accumulation of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the blood; can be a symptom of gallstones or liver infection or anemia
excessive accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part
symptom consisting of a breaking out and becoming visible
partial or total lack of sensation in a part of the body; a symptom of nerve damage or dysfunction
hurting, pain
a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
paraesthesia, paresthesia
abnormal skin sensations (as tingling or tickling or itching or burning) usually associated with peripheral nerve damage
postnasal drip
chronic secretion of mucus from the rear of the nasal cavity into the nasopharynx
cardiomegaly, enlarged heart, megacardia, megalocardia
an abnormal enlargement of the heart
cardiac murmur, heart murmur, murmur
an abnormal sound of the heart; sometimes a sign of abnormal function of the heart valves
a rapid and irregular heart beat
heartburn, pyrosis
a painful burning sensation in the chest caused by gastroesophageal reflux (backflow from the stomach irritating the esophagus); symptomatic of an ulcer or a diaphragmatic hernia or other disorder
flush, hot flash
sudden brief sensation of heat (associated with menopause and some mental disorders)
dyspepsia, indigestion, stomach upset, upset stomach
a disorder of digestive function characterized by discomfort or heartburn or nausea
inflammation, redness, rubor
a response of body tissues to injury or irritation; characterized by pain and swelling and redness and heat
chill, shivering
a sensation of cold that often marks the start of an infection and the development of a fever
ague, chills and fever
successive stages of chills and fever that is a symptom of malaria
cough, coughing
a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs that clears the air passages; a common symptom of upper respiratory infection or bronchitis or pneumonia or tuberculosis
hiccough, hiccup, singultus
(usually plural) the state of having reflex spasms of the diaphragm accompanied by a rapid closure of the glottis producing an audible sound; sometimes a symptom of indigestion
symptoms that mimic those of meningitis but without inflammation of the meninges
nausea, sickness
the state that precedes vomiting
cramp, muscle spasm, spasm
a painful and involuntary muscular contraction
cicatrice, cicatrix, scar
a mark left (usually on the skin) by the healing of injured tissue
abnormal hardening or thickening of tissue
floater, musca volitans, muscae volitantes, spots
spots before the eyes caused by opaque cell fragments in the vitreous humor and lens
febricity, febrility, fever, feverishness, pyrexia
a rise in the temperature of the body; frequently a symptom of infection
atrophy, wasting, wasting away
a decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse
transient cessation of respiration
dyspnea, dyspnoea
difficult or labored respiration
constipation, irregularity
irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels; can be a symptom of intestinal obstruction or diverticulitis
diarrhea, diarrhoea, looseness, looseness of the bowels
frequent and watery bowel movements; can be a symptom of infection or food poisoning or colitis or a gastrointestinal tumor
dizziness, giddiness, lightheadedness, vertigo
a reeling sensation; a feeling that you are about to fall
anaemia, anemia
a lack of vitality
presence of abnormal high-pitched sound heard with a stethoscope when an airway is blocked (as in asthma or chronic bronchitis)
withdrawal symptom
any physical or psychological disturbance (as sweating or depression) experienced by a drug addict when deprived of the drug
a symptom of rabies in humans consisting of an aversion to swallowing liquids
absence of a reflex; a sign of possible nerve damage
the presence of myoglobin in the urine
abnormally small production of urine; can be a symptom of kidney disease or obstruction of the urinary tract or edema or an imbalance of fluids and electrolytes in the body
a symptom of allergic states; increased eosinophils in the blood
persistent watery mucus discharge from the nose (as in the common cold)
the presence of greater than normal amounts of fat in the feces which are frothy and foul smelling and floating; a symptom of disorders of fat metabolism and malabsorption syndrome
a whistling sound when breathing (usually heard on inspiration); indicates obstruction of the trachea or larynx
a ringing or booming sensation in one or both ears; a symptom of an ear infection or Meniere's disease
presence of abnormal amounts of uric acid salts in the blood; symptom of gout
presence of abnormally large amounts of uric acid in the urine; symptom of gout
presence of abnormal amounts of uric acid in the urine; symptom of gout
Type of:
knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction

n an indication that makes something evident

“his trembling was evidence of his fear”
show 35 types...
hide 35 types...
smoking gun
indisputable evidence (especially of a crime)
clew, clue, cue
evidence that helps to solve a problem
footprint evidence
evidence in the form of footprints
anything (such as a document or a phonograph record or a photograph) providing permanent evidence of or information about past events
testimonial, testimony
something that serves as evidence
argument, statement
a fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true
the evidence by which something is attested
evidence of identity; something that identifies a person or thing
ballistic fingerprinting, ballistic identification, bullet fingerprinting
identification of the gun that fired a bullet from an analysis of the unique marks that every gun makes on the bullet it fires and on the shell ejected from it
biometric authentication, biometric identification, identity verification
the automatic identification of living individuals by using their physiological and behavioral characteristics
written account, written record
a written document preserving knowledge of facts or events
a record of things worth remembering
check stub, counterfoil, stub
the part of a check that is retained as a record
data file, file
a set of related records (either written or electronic) kept together
account, chronicle, history, story
a record or narrative description of past events
mark, sign
a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened)
a formal series of statements showing that if one thing is true something else necessarily follows from it
good authority
testimony by someone who should know
strong evidence for something
an argument offered in opposition to another argument
an argument in favor of a proposal
an argument opposed to a proposal
a statement of facts and reasons used to support an argument
clincher, determiner, determining factor
an argument that is conclusive
citing as evidence or proof
last word
the final statement in a verbal argument
working papers
records kept of activities involved in carrying out a project
specious argument
an argument that appears good at first view but is really fallacious
an identification of a publisher; a publisher's name along with the date and address and edition that is printed at the bottom of the title page
positive identification
evidence proving that you are who you say you are; evidence establishing that you are among the group of people already known to the system; recognition by the system leads to acceptance
negative identification
evidence proving that you are not who you say you are not; evidence establishing that you are not among a group of people already known to the system; recognition by the system leads to rejection
facial profiling
identification of criminals and terrorist by means of videotapes of their faces
a generic term for any identifying characteristic
linguistic profiling
using speech characteristics or dialect to identify a speaker's race or religion or social class
recording a person's behavior and analyzing psychological characteristics in order to predict or assess their ability in a certain sphere or to identify a particular group of people
Type of:
indicant, indication
something that serves to indicate or suggest

n (law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or disproved

show 13 types...
hide 13 types...
an object or statement produced before a court of law and referred to while giving evidence
a solemn statement made under oath
corpus delicti
the body of evidence that constitute the offence; the objective proof that a crime has been committed (sometimes mistakenly thought to refer to the body of a homicide victim)
direct evidence
evidence (usually the testimony of a witness) directly related to the fact in dispute
circumstantial evidence, indirect evidence
evidence providing only a basis for inference about the fact in dispute
corroborating evidence
additional evidence or evidence of different kind that supports a proof already offered in a proceeding
hearsay evidence
evidence based on what someone has told the witness and not of direct knowledge
state's evidence
evidence for the prosecution in criminal proceedings
testimony by word or deed to your religious faith
(law) unsworn statement that can be admitted in evidence in a legal transaction
the action of bearing witness
written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath
perjured testimony that someone was persuaded to give
Type of:
info, information
a message received and understood

v provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes

attest, certify, demonstrate, manifest
establish or verify the usage of
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
establish the authenticity of something
give evidence of
give evidence of a certain behavior
notarise, notarize
authenticate as a notary
demonstrate the guilt of (someone)
obtain probate of
reflect or resemble
condemn by attainder
Type of:
bear witness, prove, show, testify
provide evidence for

v provide evidence for

bear witness, prove, show, testify
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
attest, certify, demonstrate, manifest
provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes
constitute reasonable evidence for
abduce, adduce, cite
advance evidence for
establish the authenticity of something
give evidence of
give evidence of a certain behavior
notarise, notarize
authenticate as a notary
demonstrate the guilt of (someone)
Type of:
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

v give evidence

Type of:
act as an informer

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.