The Meaning of Attest: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of attest? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word attest, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word attest mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, The word attest means to confirm the validity or truth of a statement. This is often done in an official capacity, such as under oath in court, or by verification of a signature. If someone is attesting something, they are affirming said thing to be true or genuine. The word attest is often used with the word to. For example, someone might say, “I can attest to the truth of that man’s statement.” 

Many different languages also contain words meaning a test. You might notice that some of these words look and sound similar to the word attest. These are called cognates, which are words that look and sound similar between languages and also have the same meaning. These are often formed when words have the same language of origin such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word attest is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Russian: подтвержда́ть‎
  •  Spanish: avalar‎, atestiguar‎
  •  Chinese 证实‎
  •  Czech: potvrdit‎
  •  Romanian: atesta‎, confirma‎, adeveri‎
  •  Bulgarian: потвърждавам‎, заверявам‎, удостоверявам‎
  •  Albanian: dëshmoj‎, vërteroj‎
  •  Dutch: attesteren‎
  •  Swedish: attestera‎
  •  Esperanto: atesti‎ 

How can the word attest be used in a sentence?

The word attest can be used in many different ways in the English language. While this word is often used in professional and formal settings, the word itself is neither casual or formal. This means that you can use the word attest in many different situations, from a casual text message to a friend, to an official document or professional email or letter. Below are a few examples of the way that you can use the word attest in a sentence. In this first example, someone has just bought a new gadget for their kitchen.

Person 1: What is that thing?

Person 2: It’s so cool! It’s a mini stuffed waffle maker. You can make four mini waffles at one and put whatever you want inside.

Person 1: Why would I want to put anything inside of a waffle?

Person 2: Because, as reviewers attest, “It makes breakfast time fun!”

Person 1: If you say so.

In this example, Person 2 states that the reviewers online attest something about the waffle maker. This means that they made a statement about it that they are asserting to be true. In this next example, two students are called into a teacher’s classroom after being accused of cheating.

Teacher: Now, can you tell me why your paper looks extremely similar to his paper?

Student 1: We studied together, that’s all. I can show you our flashcards that we made, and all of the review material that we went over together. Our assignments look similar because we have the same level of knowledge about the material.

Student 2: I can attest that what he’s saying is the truth. You can ask either of our parents, as well as our coach. We promise, we did not cheat.

Teacher: You might get away with it this time, but I’ll catch you one of these days. 

What is the origin of the word attest?

According to Etymonline, the verb attest has been used since 1592 to mean to bear witness to or to officially confirm. This comes from the French attester and the 13th century Old French atester. These both come from the Latin attestārī meaning to confirm or prove. This comes from the assimilated form of ad and the root testārī, meaning bear witness, from testis meaning witness. This is also where we get the words testament and testify. Related words include attested, attesting, attestation, and unattested.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word attest?

In the English language, there are many different words and phrases that a person can use in the place of the word attest. These words are called synonyms, which are a great way to expand your English language vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself in either written or spoken English. This list of synonyms for the word attest is provided by Thesaurus

  •  announce
  •  corroborate
  •  substantiate
  •  exhibit
  •  sustain
  •  verify
  •  aver
  •  testify
  •  argue
  •  warrant
  •  display
  •  confirm
  •  swear
  •  countersign
  •  show
  •  support
  •  assert
  •  uphold
  •  bear out
  •  demonstrate
  •  ratify
  •  give evidence
  •  affirm
  •  vouch for
  •  seal
  •  prove
  •  witness
  •  adjure
  •  asservate
  •  bear witness
  •  authenticate
  •  certify
  •  indicate
  •  declare

There are also numerous words in the English language that have the opposite meaning of the word attest. These opposite words are known as antonyms. Learning antonyms is another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word attest is also provided by Thesaurus.

  •  forgo
  •  disavow
  •  exclude
  •  repudiate
  •  taboo
  •  decline
  •  reject
  •  disagree
  •  abjure
  •  turn down
  •  negative
  •  call on
  •  forsake
  •  spurn
  •  not buy
  •  turn thumbs down
  •  contradict
  •  refuse
  •  disbelieve
  •  deny
  •  keep back
  •  disacknowledge
  •  restrain
  •  take exception to
  •  negate
  •  ban
  •  begrudge
  •  disallow
  •  veto
  •  disclaim
  •  rebuff
  •  say no to
  •  eschew
  •  enjoin from
  •  revoke
  •  discredit
  •  discard
  •  rebut
  •  oppose
  •  forbid
  •  renounce
  •  nullify
  •  recant
  •  disown
  •  controvert
  •  gainsay
  •  curb
  •  sacrifice
  •  disprove
  •  withhold
  •  hold back
  •  refute
  •  abnegate
  •  doubt
  •  contravene 

Overall, the word attest means to affirm something to be true or genuine, to authenticate something officially, to establish or verify the use of something, to be proof of, or to put on oath. This is often used in an official way, such as in court or via the verification of the signature. The word attest is French and Latin in origin. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today, it might become one of your new favorites! 

Sources:

  1. attest: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. ATTEST Synonyms: 48 Synonyms & Antonyms for ATTEST | Thesaurus 
  3. DENY Synonyms: 81 Synonyms & Antonyms for DENY | Thesaurus 
  4. attest | Origin and meaning of attest | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Attest | Definition of Attest | Merriam-Webster