Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Affidavit

Quick Summary of Affidavit

A written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court. An affidavit is a voluntary statement or written compilation of the facts of a case under oath. The affidavit relates specifically to the issue to be decided and should be the person’s own account of events. The affidavit can be used in court as evidence.

What is the dictionary definition of Affidavit?

Dictionary Definition

Written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath.

legal A signed document wherein an affiant makes a sworn statement.

n. 1) any written document in which the signer swears under oath before a notary public or someone authorized to take oaths (like a County Clerk), that the statements in the document are true. 2) in many states a declaration under penalty of perjury, which does not require the oath-taking before a notary, is the equivalent of an affidavit.

Full Definition of Affidavit

An affidavit is a sworn written statement or declaration made voluntarily stating the facts under an oath or affirmation before an authorized official. Personal knowledge or information forms the basis of an affidavit. There is no age requirement for making an affidavit. However, a guardian may make an affidavit on behalf of a minor. An affidavit is often made in front of the following individuals: notaries, court clerks, county clerks, court commissioners and commissioners of deeds, among others. A judge can also take an affidavit if allowed under state law. In the courtroom, an affidavit will often be accepted in place of sworn testimony. An affidavit differs from a deposition, where a witness can be called via a subpoena and then cross-examined. The term affidavit stems from Medieval Latin for he has declared upon oath.

The purpose of the affidavit is for each party in a dispute to provide their evidence to the court so the court can review the information and determine what the disagreeing or disputing parties are asking the court to decide. The court’s goal is to judge the disagreements, after considering all of the evidence, and decide who has the strongest evidence to prove their case. Affidavits as a form of evidence allow the court to weigh differing versions of events.

Examples of Affidavit in a sentence

He submitted his affidavit rather than appearing to testify in court.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Affidavit. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 19, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Affidavit. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 19, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Affidavit. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Affidavit are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 10 Views.