Tes"ta*ment (?), n. [F., fr. L.
testamentum, fr. testari to be a witness, to make one's last
will, akin to testis a witness. Cf. Intestate,
Testify.] 1. (Law) 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
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. Bouvier.