1. Something that serves as tangible proof or evidence: The spacious plan of the city is a testament to the foresight of its founders.
2. A statement of belief; a credo: my political testament.
3. Law A usually formal, written directive providing for the disposition of one's property after death; a will.
4. Testament Bible Either of the two main divisions of the Bible.
5. Archaic A covenant between humans and God.
[Middle English, a will, from Latin testāmentum, from testārī, to make a will, from testis, witness; see trei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
tes′ta·mentar·y (-mĕntə-rē, -mĕntrē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.