Definition of attest in English:



  • 1[with object] Provide or serve as clear evidence of:

    ‘his status is attested by his becoming an alderman’
    [no object] ‘his numerous drawings of babies attest to his fascination with them’
    • ‘Regardless of the evidence attesting to the safety of abortion, the idea that abortion constitutes a health risk remains the subject of debate.’
    • ‘Substantial evidence now attests to the extent of doctors' unhappiness with the state of their relationships with managers.’
    • ‘Scientific evidence attested to the portrait's 17th Century origins.’
    • ‘International awards like these attest to the film's universal appeal.’
    • ‘Many landmarks attest to the richness of its history.’
    • ‘Compaq's growth, in particular, is attested by anecdotal evidence from industry.’
    • ‘A mass of evidence attests to the instability of unmarried relationships.’
    • ‘Alexander the Great's managerial ability is attested to by his successes.’
    • ‘No certain archaeological evidence exists to attest these invasions, and there is still much uncertainty about the route taken and places visited.’
    • ‘The circumstantial evidence all attests to these being excellent translations.’
    • ‘International empirical evidence attests to the large economy-wide returns from public investment in infrastructure.’
    • ‘America's emotional attachment to flags attests the country's penchant for patriotic spectacle.’
    • ‘The fragility of their beliefs is also attested to by how abusive they become when questioned.’
    • ‘The existence of a free labour market here is well attested.’
    • ‘The popularity of hobbies is attested to by the enormous range of specialist hobby magazines one can find on the shelves of any newsagency.’
    • ‘Long-distance trade both east and west is well attested, as well as internal commerce in artefacts and foodstuffs.’
    • ‘Both public documents and private testimonies attest this fact.’
    • ‘The image of the human body and its pervasiveness in both thought and literature attest to Alexander Pope's declaration that the only true study of mankind is man himself.’
    1. 1.1[no object] Declare that something exists or is the case:
      ‘I can attest to his tremendous energy’
      [with clause] ‘the deceased's solicitor attested that he had been about to institute divorce proceedings’
      • ‘Reliable witnesses attest that she was as tough as nails.’
      • ‘As a former graduate student in sociology, I can attest to the accuracy of your claim.’
      • ‘As a reporter who covered the Johnson Senate, I can attest it bears little resemblance to the Daschle Senate.’
      • ‘Even opponents from his days in the Indiana Senate attest to his character and ability.’
      • ‘Several witnesses attested to the fact that the mother could adequately care for the children on her own.’
      • ‘Other witnesses, whose evidence the judge also accepted, attested to her reactions at that time and confirmed her evidence.’
      • ‘I am a psychotherapist and can attest to the value of my field.’
      • ‘There was no shortage of character witnesses willing to attest to their integrity.’
      • ‘His family, not just George, can attest to his character.’
      • ‘Those traveling with me can attest to that fact.’
      • ‘I can attest to the absolute bureaucracy that is entailed when you go to apply for funding from any of the relevant statutory agencies.’
      • ‘I know a few professors who can attest to this.’
      • ‘Hence my appeal for witnesses who could attest that there were no warning signs in place.’
      • ‘Numerous young professional players can attest to his tireless encouragement and invaluable expertise.’
      • ‘Jill can attest to the rewards of having the courage to move on.’
      • ‘Mr. Mason steps forward to attest as a witness that his sister, Bertha, is still alive.’
      • ‘Many therapists and counseling professionals showed up to attest to the efficacy of the drug.’
      • ‘They obtained letters attesting to her good character.’
      • ‘Grey's products range from around $45 - $115, and those who have been using them for years can attest to their durability.’
      • ‘The patient must sign a written request in the presence of two witnesses attesting that the patient is competent and acting voluntarily.’
      • ‘Many highly trained professionals can attest to the irrelevance of evolutionary theory.’
      • ‘But rank and file American travelers can attest to the changing attitudes of Western Europeans toward the United States in recent decades.’
      declare, maintain, contend, argue, state, claim, propound, submit, posit, postulate, adduce, move, advocate, venture, volunteer, aver, proclaim, announce, pronounce, affirm, protest, profess, swear, insist, avow
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    2. 1.2 Witness or certify formally:
      ‘the witnesses must attest and sign the will in the testator's presence’
      • ‘Skaters desirous of taking part in trials should bring their birth certificates duly attested by principals of their respective schools.’
      • ‘One has to produce a colour photograph of the family duly attested by the principal of the school.’
      • ‘Participants must be present at the venue with bona fide certificates attested by their school head master or principals.’
      • ‘Once the forms are signed, candidates have them attested by a gazetted officer before submitting them, in bulk, to the electoral registration officer.’
      • ‘They had no intention to verify or attest the Deceased's signature.’
      certify, corroborate, confirm, verify, substantiate, document, authenticate, give proof of, provide evidence of, evidence, demonstrate, evince, display, exhibit, show, manifest, prove, endorse, back up, support, guarantee
      affirm, aver, swear to, testify to, bear witness to, bear out, give credence to, vouch for
      depose to
      stick up for, throw one's weight behind
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  • 2historical [no object] Enrol as ready for military service:

    ‘unfortunately for him, he attested’
    enlist, sign up, enrol, engage, take on, round up
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    1. 2.1[with object] Recruit (someone) for military service by putting them on oath to serve if called upon:
      ‘2,000,000 men were attested under this system’


Early 16th century: from French attester, from Latin attestari, from ad- to + testari to witness (from testis a witness).