Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of testament


Related terms

Definition of testament


    From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin testamentum (“the publication of a will, a will, testament, in Late Latin one of the divisions of the Bible”), from testari (“to be a witness, testify, attest, make a will”), from testis (“one who attests, a witness”).


  • SAMPA: /"tEst@m@nt/


testament (plural testaments)

  1. (law) A solemn, authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his or her will as to disposal of his or her inheritance (estate and effects) after his or her death, benefiting specified heir(s).

      Note: This is otherwise called a will, and sometimes a last will and testament. A testament, to be valid, must conform in most states to applicable legal rules, which may include: be made by a person of sound mind; and be executed and published in due form of law. In certain cases one may make a valid will by word of mouth only.
  2. One of the two distinct revelations of the Judeo-Christian God's purposes toward man; a covenant; also, one of the two general divisions of the canonical books of the Biblical Scriptures, in which the covenants are respectively revealed: the Old Testament and the New Testament; -- often limited, in colloquial language, to the latter.
  3. A tangible proof or tribute.
  4. A credo, expression of conviction

    The prime minister's speech was a glowing testament to the cabinet's undying commitment to the royal cause


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


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