One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of evidence or a legal case) pointing indirectly toward someone's guilt but not conclusively proving it.
indirect, inferred, inferential, deduced, presumed, conjecturalView synonyms
- ‘The forensic and circumstantial evidence as to the drink she had taken may be found at paragraphs 9 and 10.’
- ‘And it is clear from reading his evidence that his conclusion was firmly based on that medical and circumstantial evidence, as one would expect.’
- ‘Yes, but no single piece of circumstantial evidence ever is completely probative of the ultimate fact.’
- ‘The prosecution case was left to the jury as a circumstantial case.’
- ‘We've had a great deal of circumstantial evidence suggesting that indirect transmission occurs.’
- ‘There is very strong evidence of motive in a circumstantial case.’
- ‘It would be open to a jury to find that those facts are some circumstantial evidence which supports the Crown's case.’
- ‘If they only have circumstantial evidence, can they still conclude that a material breach has occurred?’
- ‘All of the evidence is circumstantial and requires the drawing of inferences.’
- ‘In fact, contrary to popular opinion, circumstantial evidence is often extremely reliable.’
- ‘As in national law, in international criminal law a culpable state of mind is normally proved in court by circumstantial evidence.’
- ‘Intent can, of course, always be proved through circumstantial evidence.’
- ‘The circumstantial evidence all pointed towards cold as the precursor to death, but despite this the official inquiry gave drowning as the cause of death in every case.’
- ‘Sometimes one has to rely on probabilities and on circumstantial evidence; which I always thought was less unreliable than oral evidence.’
- ‘Some States will attend sessions to defend against any circumstantial or uncorroborated evidence on their human rights situation.’
- ‘He submitted that that evidence provided a powerful circumstantial case of murder.’
- ‘There was a substantial body of circumstantial evidence implicating the accused in addition to the informer's evidence.’
- ‘Nobody sees what happens, but there is other circumstantial evidence implicating him.’
- ‘There is other circumstantial evidence that supports the suspicious nature of his initial entrance to those premises.’
- ‘No, it's not just a coincidence, it is circumstantial evidence of his guilt.’
2(of a description) containing full details.‘the picture was circumstantial and therefore convincing’
detailed, particularized, particular, precise, minute, blow-by-blowView synonyms
- ‘As it is not properly a term of the British marine, a more circumstantial account of it might be considered foreign to our plan.’
- ‘Her circumstantial account was accepted by thousands who had hitherto remained sceptical.’
- ‘They do add bits of circumstantial detail, but the images are like glittery found objects glued to the surface of a sculpture.’
- ‘Sure, I can imagine some of the circumstantial detail that would make the story sound more immediate.’
- ‘He includes much by way of circumstantial detail without allowing his central narrative to become shapeless.’
Late 16th century: from Latin circumstantia (see circumstance) + -al.
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