Define: Attest

Quick Summary of Attest

As a witness, to attest means to affirm an act or event as true.

Documents are legally attested when they are signed by the involved parties in the presence of a witness who also signs the documents.

What is the dictionary definition of Attest?
Dictionary Definition of Attest

Attest (verb):

1. To affirm or declare the truth, accuracy, or genuineness of something, typically by providing evidence or testimony.
Example: The witness attested to the defendant’s alibi, providing a detailed account of their whereabouts during the time of the crime.

2. To certify or authenticate a document or signature by adding one’s own signature or seal as a witness.
Example: The notary public attested the validity of the contract by affixing their official seal and signature.

3. To acknowledge or confirm the existence or occurrence of something.
Example: The photographs attested to the damage caused by the storm, revealing fallen trees and destroyed buildings.

4. To give proof or evidence of one’s qualifications, abilities, or character.
Example: The candidate attested their proficiency in multiple programming languages by presenting a portfolio of completed projects.

5. To bear witness to or vouch for someone’s character, conduct, or reputation.

Example: The employer attested to the employee’s exceptional work ethic and reliability when providing a reference for a new job opportunity.


  1. To affirm to be correct, true, or genuine.
  2. To certify by signature or oath
  3. To certify in an official capacity.


  1. To confirm (usually in writing) that a document is genuine.
  2. To bear witness that someone actually signed a document, such as a will. All states require at least two witnesses (three in Vermont) to attest that a will was signed and declared to be a will (except a will written in one’s own handwriting in some states).
Full Definition Of Attest

Attest is a legal term that refers to the act of witnessing the signing of a document and confirming its authenticity. It involves a person, known as an attesting witness, who is present during the signing of a document and subsequently signs it to verify that the signature is genuine. The purpose of attestation is to provide evidence that the document was executed in the presence of a witness and to prevent fraud or forgery. Attestation is commonly required for various legal documents, such as wills, contracts, deeds, and affidavits, to ensure their validity and enforceability.

As a witness, to affirm an act or event as true. Documents are legally attested when they are signed by the involved parties in the presence of a witness who also signs the documents.

The term originates from the Early 16th century from the French phrase attester, from Latin attestari, from ad- ‘to’ + testari ‘to witness’ (from testis ‘a witness’).

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This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 29th March, 2024.

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  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):Attest. DLS Solicitors. (accessed: April 18, 2024).
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