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Testament

testament

1. A solemn, authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will as to disposal of his estate and effects after his death.

This is otherwise called a will, and sometimes a last will and testament. A testament, to be valid, must be made by a person of sound mind; and it must be executed and published in due form of law. A man, in certain cases, may make a valid will by word of mouth only. See Nuncupative will, under Nuncupative.

2. One of the two distinct revelations of God's purposes toward man; a covenant; also, one of the two general divisions of the canonical books of the sacred Scriptures, in which the covenants are respectively revealed; as, the old Testament; the new Testament; often limited, in colloquial language, to the latter. He is the mediator of the new testament . . . For the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament. (Heb. Ix. 15) holographic testament, a testament written wholly by the testator himself.

Origin: F, fr. L. Testamentum, fr. Testari to be a witness, to make one's last will, akin to testis a witness. Cf. Intestate, Testify.


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