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9 definitions found
 for Evidence
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Evidence \Ev"i*dence\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Evidenced; p. pr. &
     vb. n. Evidencing.]
     To render evident or clear; to prove; to evince; as, to
     evidence a fact, or the guilt of an offender. --Milton.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Evidence \Ev"i*dence\, n. [F. ['e]vidence, L. Evidentia. See
     1. That which makes evident or manifest; that which
        furnishes, or tends to furnish, proof; any mode of proof;
        the ground of belief or judgement; as, the evidence of our
        senses; evidence of the truth or falsehood of a statement.
        [1913 Webster]
              Faith is . . . the evidence of things not seen.
                                                    --Heb. xi. 1.
        [1913 Webster]
              O glorious trial of exceeding love
              Illustrious evidence, example high.   --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. One who bears witness. [R.] "Infamous and perjured
        evidences." --Sir W. Scott.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Law) That which is legally submitted to competent
        tribunal, as a means of ascertaining the truth of any
        alleged matter of fact under investigation before it;
        means of making proof; -- the latter, strictly speaking,
        not being synonymous with evidence, but rather the effect
        of it. --Greenleaf.
        [1913 Webster]
     Circumstantial evidence, Conclusive evidence, etc. See
        under Circumstantial, Conclusive, etc.
     Crown's evidence, King's evidence, or Queen's evidence,
        evidence for the crown, in English courts; equivalent to
        state's evidence in American courts. [Eng.]
     State's evidence, evidence for the government or the
        people. [U. S. ]
     To turn King's evidence To turn Queen's evidence, or To
     turn State's evidence, to confess a crime and give evidence
        against one's accomplices.
     Syn: Testimony; proof. See Testimony.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to
           base belief; "the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer
           is very compelling" [syn: evidence, grounds]
      2: an indication that makes something evident; "his trembling
         was evidence of his fear"
      3: (law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose
         truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or
      v 1: provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's
           behavior, attitude, or external attributes; "His high fever
           attested to his illness"; "The buildings in Rome manifest a
           high level of architectural sophistication"; "This decision
           demonstrates his sense of fairness" [syn: attest,
           certify, manifest, demonstrate, evidence]
      2: provide evidence for; "The blood test showed that he was the
         father"; "Her behavior testified to her incompetence" [syn:
         testify, bear witness, prove, evidence, show]
      3: give evidence; "he was telling on all his former colleague"
         [syn: tell, evidence]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  225 Moby Thesaurus words for "evidence":
     Christophany, Satanophany, account, acquaintance, affect,
     affidavit, affirmation, angelophany, announcement, apparentness,
     appearance, approve, argue, argument, assertion,
     atmospheric visibility, attest, attestation, avatar, averment,
     basis, bear witness, bespeak, betoken, blue book, brandish,
     breathe, briefing, bring forth, bring forward, bring into view,
     bring out, bring to notice, bulletin, catchword, ceiling,
     ceiling unlimited, certification, clarity, clearness, clue,
     communication, communique, confirm, confirmation, connote,
     conspicuity, conspicuousness, corroboration, crystal-clearness,
     cue, cue word, dangle, data, datum, definiteness, definition,
     demonstrate, demonstration, denote, deposition, develop, directory,
     disclose, disclosure, dispatch, display, dissemination,
     distinctness, divulge, documentation, dramatize, embodiment,
     embody, enact, enlightenment, epiphany, evidentness, evince,
     evincement, exhibit, expose, expose to view, express, expression,
     facts, factual information, familiarization, flaunt, flourish,
     furnish evidence, gen, general information, give indication of,
     give sign, give token, go to show, grounds, guidebook, handout,
     hard information, high visibility, highlight, hint, hot lead,
     illuminate, illustrate, imply, incarnate, incarnation,
     incidental information, index, indicate, indication, info,
     information, instruction, intelligence, intimation, involve, key,
     key word, knowledge, lead, light, low visibility, make clear,
     make plain, manifest, manifestation, manifestness, mark,
     materialization, materialize, mean, mention, message, notice,
     notification, obviousness, openness, openness to sight, overtness,
     palpability, parade, patentness, percipi, perform, perspicuity,
     plainness, pneumatophany, point to, present, presentation,
     proclaim, produce, prominence, promotional material, proof, prove,
     publication, publicity, release, report, represent, reveal,
     revelation, roll out, scent, seeing, set forth, show, show forth,
     show signs of, sidelight, sign, signalize, significant, signify,
     speak for itself, speak volumes, spoor, spotlight, statement,
     substantiation, suggest, suggestion, summation, summing up,
     support, symptom, symptomatize, tangibility, tell, telltale,
     tend to show, testament, testify, testimonial, testimony, the dope,
     the goods, the know, the scoop, theophany, tip-off, token, trace,
     transmission, trot out, unfold, unmistakableness,
     unquestionability, validation, verification, vestige, visibility,
     visibility unlimited, visibility zero, wave, whiff, white book,
     white paper, witness, word

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EVIDENCE. That which demonstrates, makes clear, or ascertains the truth of 
  the very fact or point in issue; 3 Bl. Com. 367; or it is whatever is 
  exhibited to a court or jury, whether it be by matter of record, or writing, 
  or by the testimony of witnesses, in order to enable them to pronounce with 
  certainty; concerning the truth of any matter in dispute; Bac. Ab. Evidence, 
  in pr.; or it is that which is legally submitted to a jury, to enable them 
  to decide upon the questions in dispute or issue, as pointed out by the 
  pleadings and distinguished from all comment or argument. 1 Stark. Ev. 8. 
      2. Evidence may be considered with reference to, 1. The nature of the 
  evidence. 2. The object of the evidence. 3. The instruments of evidence. 4. 
  The effect of evidence. 1. As to its nature, evidence may be considered with 
  reference to its being 1. Primary evidence. 2. Secondary evidence. 3. 
  Positive. 4. Presumptive. 5. Hearsay. 6. Admissions. 
       4.-1. Primary evidence. The law generally requires that the best 
  evidence the case admits of should be given; B. N. P. 293; 1 Stark. Ev. 102, 
  390; for example, when a written contract has been entered into, and the 
  object is to prove what it was, it is requisite to produce the original 
  writing if it is to be attained, and in that case no copy or other inferior 
  evidence will be received. 
       5. To this general rule there are several exceptions. 1. As it refers 
  to the quality rather than to the quantity of evidence, it is evident that 
  the fullest proof that every case admits of, is not requisite; if, 
  therefore, there are several eye-witnesses to a fact, it may be sufficiently 
  proved by one only. 
       2. It is not always requisite, when the matter to be proved has been 
  reduced to writing, that the writing should be produced; as, if the 
  narrative of a fact to be proved has been committed to writing, it may yet 
  be proved by parol evidence. A receipt for the payment of money, for 
  example, will not exclude parol evidence of payment. 14 Esp. R. 213; and see 
  7 B. & C. 611; S. C. 14 E. C. L. R. 101; 1 Campb. R. 439; 3 B. & A. 566; 6 
  E. C. L. R. 377. 
       6.-2. Secondary evidence. That species of proof which is admissible 
  on the loss of primary evidence, and which becomes by that event the best 
  evidence. 3 Yeates, Rep. 530. 
       7. It is a rule that the best evidence, or that proof which most 
  certainly exhibits the true state of facts to which it relates, shall be 
  required, and the law rejects secondary or inferior evidence, when it is 
  attempted to be substituted for evidence of a higher or superior nature. 
  This is a rule of policy, grounded upon a reasonable suspicion, that the 
  substitution of inferior for better evidence arises from sinister motives; 
  and an apprehension that the best evidence, if produced, would alter the 
  case to the prejudice of the party. This rule relates not to the measure and 
  quantity of evidence, but to its quality when compared with some other 
  evidence of superior degree. It is not necessary in point of law, to give 
  the fullest proof that every case may admit of. If, for example, there be 
  several eye witnesses to a fact, it may be proved by the testimony of one 
       8. When primary evidence cannot be had, then secondary evidence will be 
  admitted, because then it is the best. But before such evidence can be 
  allowed, it must be clearly made to appear that the superior evidence is not 
  to be had. The person who possesses it must be applied to, whether he be a 
  stranger or the opposite party; in the case of a stranger, a subpoena and 
  attachment, when proper, must be taken out and served; and, in the case of a 
  party, notice to produce such primary evidence must be proved before the 
  secondary evidence will be admitted. 7 Serg. & Rawle, 116; 6 Binn. 228; 4 
  Binn. R. 295, note; 6 Binn. R. 478; 7 East, R. 66; 8 East, R. 278 3 B. & A. 
  296; S. C. 5 E. C. L. R. 291. 
       9. After proof of the due execution of the original, the contents 
  should be proved by a counterpart, if there be one, for this is the next 
  best evidence; and it seems that no evidence of a mere copy is admissible 
  until proof has been given that the counterpart cannot be produced. 6 T. R. 
  236. If there be no counterpart, a copy may be proved in evidence. by any 
  witness who knows that it is a copy, from having compared it with the 
  original. Bull. N. P. 254; 1 Keb. 117; 6 Binn. R. 234; 2 Taunt. R. 52; 1 
  Campb. R. 469 8 Mass. R. 273. If there be no copy, the party may produce an 
  abstract, or even give parol evidence of the contents of a deed. 10 Mod. 8; 
  6 T. R. 556. 
      10. But it has been decided that there are no degrees in secondary 
  evidence: and when a party has laid the foundation for such evidence, he may 
  prove the contents of a deed by parol, although it appear that an attested 
  copy is in existence. 6 C. & P. 206; 8 Id. 389. 
      11.-3. Positive or direct evidence is that which, if believed, 
  establishes the truth of a fact in issue, and does not arise from any 
  presumption. Evidence is direct and positive, when the very facts in dispute 
  are communicated by those who have the actual knowledge of them by means of 
  their senses. 1 Phil. Ev. 116 1 Stark. 19. In one sense, there is but little 
  direct or positive proof, or such proof as is acquired by means of one's own 
  sense, all other evidence is presumptive but, in common acceptation, direct 
  and positive evidence is that which is communicated by one who has actual 
  knowledge of the fact. 
      12.-4. Presumptive evidence is that which is not direct, but where, on 
  the contrary, a fact which is not positively known, is presumed or inferred 
  from one or more other facts or circumstances which are known. Vide article 
  Presumption, and Rosc. Civ. Ev. 13; 1 Stark. Ev. 18. 
      13.-5. Hearsay, is the evidence of those who relate, not what they 
  know themselves, but what they have heard from others. 
      14. Such mere recitals or assertions cannot be received in evidence, for 
  many reasons, but principally for the following: first, that the party 
  making such declarations is not on oath and, secondly, because the party 
  against whom it operates, has no opportunity of cross-examination. 1 Phil. 
  Ev. 185. See, for other reasons, 1 Stark. Ev. pt. 1, p. 44. The general rule 
  excluding hearsay evidence, does not apply to those declarations to which 
  the party is privy, or to admissions which he himself has made. See 
      15. Many facts, from their very nature, either absolutely, or usually 
  exclude direct evidence to prove them, being such as are either necessarily 
  or usually, imperceptible by the senses, and therefore incapable of the 
  ordinary means of proof. These are questions of pedigree or relationship, 
  character, prescription, custom, boundary, and the like; as also questions 
  which depend upon the exercise of particular skill and judgment. Such facts, 
  some from their nature, and others from their antiquity, do not admit of the 
  ordinary and direct means of proof by living witnesses; and, consequently, 
  resort must be had to the best means of proof which the nature of the cases 
  afford. See Boundary; Custom; Opinion; Pedigree; Prescription. 
      16.-6. Admissions are the declarations which a party by himself, or 
  those who act under his authority, make of the existence of certain facts. 
  Vide Admissions. 
      17.- 2. The object of evidence is next to be considered. It is to 
  ascertain the truth between the parties. It has been discovered by 
  experience that this is done most certainly by the adoption of the following 
  rules, which are now binding as law: 1. The evidence must be confined to the 
  point in issue. 2. The substance of the issue must be proved, but only the 
  substance is required to be proved. 3. The affirmative of the issue must be 
      18.-1. It is a general rule, both in civil and criminal cases, that 
  the evidence shall be confined to the point in issue. Justice and 
  convenience require the observance of this rule, particularly in criminal 
  cases, for when a prisoner is charged with an offence, it is of the utmost 
  importance to him that the facts laid before the jury should consist 
  exclusively of the transaction, which forms the subject of the indictment, 
  and, which alone he has come prepared to answer. 2 Russ. on Cr. 694; 1 Phil. 
  Ev. 166. 
      19. To this general rule, there are several exceptions, and a variety of 
  cases which do not fall within the rule. 1. In general, evidence of 
  collateral facts is not admissible; but when such a fact is material to the 
  issue joined between the parties, it may be given in evidence; as, for 
  example, in order to prove that the acceptor of a bill knew the payee to be 
  a fictitious person; or that the drawer had general authority from him to 
  fill up bills with the name of a fictitious payee, evidence may be given to 
  show that he had accepted similar bills before they could, from their date, 
  have arrived from the place of date. 2 H. Bl. 288. 
      20.-2. When special damage sustained by the plaintiff is not stated in 
  the declaration, it is Dot one of the points in issue, and therefore, 
  evidence of it cannot be received; yet a damage which is the necessary 
  result of the defendant's breach of contract, may be proved, notwithstanding 
  it is not in the declaration. 11 Price's Reports, 19. 
      21.-3. In general, evidence of the character of either party to a suit 
  is inadmissible, yet in some cases such evidence may be given. Vide article 
      22.-4. When evidence incidentally applies to another person or thing 
  not included in the transaction in question, and with regard to whom or to 
  which it is inadmissible; yet if it bear upon the point in issue, it will be 
  received. 8 Bingh. Rep. 376; S. C. 21 Eng. C. L. R. 325 and see 1 Phil. Ev. 
  158; 2 East, P. C. 1035; 2 Leach, 985; S. C. 1 New Rep. 92; Russ. & Ry. C. 
  C. 376; 2 Yeates, 114; 9 Conn. Rep. 47. 
      23.-5. The acts of others, as in the case of conspirators, may be 
  given in evidence against the prisoner, when referable to the issue; but 
  confessions made by one of several conspirators after the offence has been 
  completed, and when the conspirators no longer act in concert) cannot be 
  received. Vide article Confession, and 10 Pick. 497; 2 Pet. Rep. 364; 2 
  Brec. R. 269; 3 Serg. & Rawle, 9; 1 Rawle, 362, 458; 2 Leigh's R. 745; 2 
  Day's Cas. 205; 3 Serg. & Rawle, 220; 3 Pick. 33; 4 Cranch, 75; 2 B. & A. 
  573-4 S. C. 5. E. C. L. R. 381. 
      24.-6. In criminal cases, when the offence is a cumulative one, 
  consisting itself in the commission of a number of acts, evidence of those 
  acts is not only admissible, but essential to support the charge. On an 
  indictment against a defendant for a conspiracy, to cause himself, to be 
  believed a man of large property, for the purpose of defrauding tradesmen 
  after proof of a representation to one tradesman, evidence may therefore be 
  given of a representation to another tradesman at a different time. 1 Campb. 
  Rep. 399; 2 Day's Cas. 205; 1 John. R. 99; 4 Rogers' Rec. 143; 2 Johns. Cas. 
      25.-7. To prove the guilty knowledge of a prisoner, with regard to the 
  transaction in question, evidence of other offences of the same kind, 
  committed by the prisoner, though not charged in the indictment, is 
  admissible against him. As in the case where a prisoner had passed a 
  counterfeit dollar, evidence that he had. other counterfeit dollars in his 
  possession is evidence to prove the guilty knowledge. 2 Const. R. 758; Id. 
  776; 1 Bailey, R. 300; 2 Leigh's R. 745; 1 Wheeler's Cr. Cas. 415; 3 Rogers' 
  Rec. 148; Russ. & Ry. 132; 1 Campb. Rep. 324; 5 Randolph's R. 701. 
      26.-2. The substance of the issue joined between the parties must be 
  proved. 1 Phil. Ev. 190. Under this rule will be considered the quantity of 
  evidence required to support particular averments in the declaration or 
      27. And, first, of civil cases. 1. It is a fatal variance in a contract, 
  if it appear that a party who ought to have been joined as plaintiff has 
  been omitted. 1 Saund. 291 b, n.; 2 T. R. 282. But it is no variance to omit 
  a person who might have been joined as defendant, because the non-joinder 
  ought to have been pleaded in abatement. 1 Saund. 291 d, n. 2. The 
  consideration of the contract must be proved but it is not necessary for the 
  plaintiff to set out in his declaration, or prove on the trial, the several 
  parts of a contract consisting of distinct and collateral provisions; it is 
  sufficient to state so much of the contract as contains the entire 
  consideration of the act, and the entire act to be done in virtue of such 
  consideration, including the time, manner, and other circumstances of its 
  performance. 6 East, R. 568; 4 B. & A. 387; 6 E. C. L. R. 455. 
      28.-Secondly. In criminal cases, it may be laid down, 1. That it is, 
  in general, sufficient to prove what constitutes an offence. It is enough to 
  prove so much of the indictment as shows that the defendant has committed a 
  substantive crime therein specified. 2 Campb. R. 585; 1 Harr. & John. 427. 
  If a man be indicted for robbery, he may be found guilty of larceny, and not 
  guilty of the robbery. 2 Hale, P. C. 302. The offence of which the party is 
  convicted, must, however, be of the same class with that of which he is 
  charged. 1 i Leach, 14; 2 Stra. 1133. 
      29.-2. When the intent of the prisoner furnishes one of the 
  ingredients in the offence, and several intents are laid in the indictment, 
  each of which, together with the act done, constitutes an offence, it is 
  sufficient to prove one intent only. 3 Stark. R. 35; 14 E. C. L. R. 154, 
      30.-3. When a person or thing, necessary to be mentioned in an 
  indictment, is described with circumstances of greater particularity than is 
  requisite, yet those circumstances must be proved. 3 Rogers' Rec. 77; 3 
  Day's Cas. 283. For example, if a party be charged with stealing a black 
  horse, the evidence must correspond with the averment, although it was 
  unnecessary to make it. Roscoe's Cr. Ev. 77 4 Ohio, 350. 
      31.-4. The name of the prosecutor, or party injured; must be proved as 
  laid, and the rule is the same with reference to the name of a third person 
  introduced into the indictment, as. descriptive of some person or thing. 
      32.-5. The affirmative of the issue must be proved. The general rule 
  with regard to the burthen of proving the issue, requires that the party who 
  asserts the, affirmative should prove it. But this rule ceases to operate 
  the moment the presumption of law is thrown into the other scale. When the 
  issue is on the legitimacy of a child therefore, it is incumbent on the 
  party asserting the illegitimacy to prove it. 2 Selw. N. P. 709. Vide Onus 
  Probandi; Presum 2 Gall. R. 485 and 1 McCord, 573. 
      33.-3. The consideration of the instruments of evidence will be the 
  subject of this head. These consist of records, private writings, or 
      34.-1. Records are to be proved by an exemplification, duly 
  authenticated, (Vide Authentication, in all cases where the issue is nul 
  tiel record. In other cases, an examined copy, duly proved, will, in 
  general, be evidence. Foreign laws as proved in the mode pointed out under 
  the article Foreign laws. 
      35.-2. Private writings are proved by producing the attesting witness; 
  or in case of his death, absence, or other legal inability to testify, as 
  if, after attesting the paper, he becomes infamous, his handwriting may be 
  proved. When there is no witness to the instrument, it may be proved by the 
  evidence of the handwriting of the party, by a person who has seen him 
  write, or in a course of correspondence has become acquainted with his hand. 
  See Comparison of handwriting, and 5 Binn. R. 349; 10 Serg. & Rawle, 110; 11 
  Serg. & Rawle, 333 3 W. C. C. R. 31; 11 Serg. & Rawle, 347 6 Serg. & Rawle, 
  12, 812; 1 Rawle, R. 223; 3 Rawle, R. 312; 1 Ashm. R. 8; 3 Penn. R. 136. 
      36. Books of original entry, when duly proved, are prima facie evidence 
  of goods sold and delivered, and of work and labor done. Vide original 
      37.-3. Proof by witnesses. The testimony of witnesses is called parol 
  evidence, or that which is given viva voce, as contra-distinguished from 
  that which is written or documentary. It is a general rule, that oral 
  evidence shall in no case be received as equivalent to, or as a substitute 
  for, a written instrument, where the latter is required by law; or to give 
  effect to a written instrument which is defective in any particular which by 
  law is essential to its validity; or to contradict, alter or vary a written 
  instrument, either appointed by law, or by the contract of the parties, to 
  be the appropriate and authentic memorial of the particular facts it 
  recites; for by doing so, oral testimony would be admitted to usurp the 
  place of evidence decidedly superior in degree. 1 Serg. & Rawle, 464; Id. 
  27; Addis. R. 361; 2 Dall. 172; 1 Yeates, 140; 1 Binn. 616; 3 Marsh. Ken. R. 
  333; 4 Bibb, R. 473; 1 Bibb, R. 271; 11 Mass. R. 30; 13 Mass. R. 443; 3 
  Conn. 9; 20 Johns. 49; 12 Johns. R. 77; 3 Camp. 57; 1 Esp. C. 53; 1 M. & S. 
  21; Bunb. 175. 
      38. But parol evidence is admissible to defeat a written instrument, on 
  the ground of fraud, mistake, &c., or to apply it to its proper subject 
  matter; or, in some instances, as ancillary to such application, to explain 
  the meaning of doubtful terms, or to rebut presumptions arising 
  extrinsically. In these cases, the parol evidence does not usurp the place, 
  or arrogate the authority of, written evidence, but either shows that the 
  instrument ought not to be allowed to operate at all, or is essential in 
  order to give to the instrument its legal effect. 1 Murph. R. 426 4 Desaus. 
  R. 211; 1 Desaus. R. 345 1 Bay, R. 247; 1 Bibb, R. 271 11 Mass. R. 30; see 1 
  Pet. C. C. R. 85 1 Binn. R. 610; 3 Binn. R. 587: 3 Serg. Rawle, 340; Poth. 
  Obl. Pl. 4, c. 2. 
      39.-4. The effect of evidence. Under this head will be considered, 
  1st. The effect of judgments rendered in the United States, and of records 
  lawfully made in this country; and, 2d. The effect of foreign judgments and 
      40.-1. As a general rule, a judgment rendered by a court of competent 
  jurisdiction, directly upon the point in issue, is a bar between the same 
  parties: 1 Phil. Ev. 242; and privies in blood, as an heir 3 Mod. 141; or 
  privies in estate 1 Ld. Raym. 730; B. N. P. 232; stand in the same 
  situation. as those they represent; the verdict and judgment may be used for 
  or against them, and is conclusive. Vide Res Judicata. 
      41. The Constitution of the United States, art. 4, s. 1, declares, that 
  "Full faith and credit shall be given, in each state, to the public acts, 
  records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And congress may, by 
  general laws, prescribe the manner in which Such acts, records and 
  proceedings, shall be proved, and the effect thereof." Vide article 
  Authentication and 7 Cranch, 481; 3 Wheat. R. 234 10 Wheat. R. 469; 17 Mass. 
  R. 546; 9 Cranch, 192; 2 Yeates, 532; 7 Cranch, 408; 3 Bibb's R. 369; 5 
  Day's R. 563; 2 Marsh. Kty. R. 293. 
      42.-2. As to the effect of foreign laws, see article Foreign Laws. For 
  the force and effect of foreign judgments, see article Foreign Judgments. 
  Vide, generally, the Treatises on Evidence, of Gilbert, Phillips, Starkie, 
  Roscoe, Swift, Bentham, Macnally, Peake, Greenleaf, and Bouv. Inst. Index, 
  h.t.; the various Digests, h.t. 

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EVIDENCE, CIRCUMSTANTIAL. The proof of facts which usually attend other 
  facts sought to be, proved; that which is not direct evidence. For example, 
  when a witness testifies that a man was stabbed with a knife, and that a 
  piece of the blade was found in the wound, and it is found to fit exactly 
  with another part of the blade found in the possession of the prisoner; the 
  facts are directly attested, but they only prove circumstances, and hence 
  this is called circumstantial evidence. 
       2. Circumstantial evidence is of two kinds, namely, certain and 
  uncertain. It is certain when the conclusion in question necessarily follows 
  as, where a man had received a mortal wound, and it was found that the 
  impression of a bloody left hand had been made on the left arm of the 
  deceased, it was certain some other person than the deceased must have made 
  such mark. 14 How. St. Tr. 1324. But it is uncertain whether the death was 
  caused by suicide or by murder, and whether the mark of the bloody hand was 
  made by the assassin, or by a friendly hand that came too late to the relief 
  of the deceased. Id. Vide Circumstances. 

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EVIDENCE, EXTRINSIC. External evidence, or that which is not contained in 
  the body of an agreement, contract, and the like. 
       2. It is a general rule that extrinsic evidence cannot be admitted to 
  contradict, explain, vary or change the terms of a contract or of a will, 
  except in a latent ambiguity, or to rebut a resulting trust. 14 John. 1; 1 
  Day, R. 8; 6 Conn. 270. 

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EVIDENCE, CONCLUSIVE. That which, while uncontradicted, satisfies the judge 
  and jury it is also that which cannot be contradicted. 
       2. The record of a court of common law jurisdiction is conclusive as to 
  the facts therein stated. 2 Wash. 64; 2 H. 55; 6 Conn. 508, But the judgment 
  and record of a prize court is not conclusive evidence in the state courts, 
  unless it had jurisdiction of the subject-matter; and whether it had or not, 
  the state courts may decide. 1 Conn. 429. See as to the conclusiveness of 
  the judgments of foreign courts of admiralty, 4 Cranch, 421, 434; 3 Cranch, 
  458; Gilmer, 16 Const. R. 381 1 N. & M. 5 3 7. 

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  EVIDENCE, DIRECT. That which applies immediately to the fadum probandum, 
  without any intervening process; as, if A testifies he saw B inflict a 
  mortal wound on C, of which he, instantly died. 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 13. 

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