I want to know whether there might be an expression along the lines of "Convey X". Meaning, to serve as testament of X's character. I suspect that convey is not the correct verb, but I wonder if a suitable one exists.

  • 1
    It's difficult to tell what is being asked here.
    – MetaEd
    Dec 14, 2012 at 0:50
  • expressyou is not ordinary English. Could you please edit your answer to show us a) the context within which you found this expression, and b) what it it is you want us to provide? Dec 14, 2012 at 1:12
  • If you mean "serves as evidence that X is of good character", then commend or * accredit* might work, or at least provide a starting point in a good thesaurus. If you means "provides evidence by which one may judge X's character", then measure (or provide a measure of) could be a starting point. Dec 14, 2012 at 3:00
  • "These selfish/selfless [take your pick] actions characterise, typify, exemplify Mr. X" are all credible. There are probably many other words I can't think of - even more if we change the context a bit, to "These actions demonstrate Mr. X's character". Dec 14, 2012 at 3:56
  • I'm voting to reopen on the grounds that even though we don't really have enough context to go on, it shouldn't be that difficult to address what's probably a fairly small range of possibilities. But I still think OP should provide more detail on exactly what he means by "serve as testament of X's character" Dec 14, 2012 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


This question will be difficult to answer because you are requiring a verb with

  1. a specific meaning, and
  2. a specific argument frame

By a specific argument frame, I mean that you want a transitive verb whose subject refers to some past action or event, and whose object refers to the person for whose character the past action or event speaks.

If we drop the second requirement, there should be a few candidate expressions. To give a couple examples with metaphorical uses of verbs of speaking:

Thomas' refusal to sign for the package was telling.
It says a lot that Thomas came to work on time even after what happened.

Both of these types of expressions would have the meaning you are looking for.

  • 1
    Both your rephrasings imply connotations of (probably inadvertently) revealing information, but OP's context (such as it is! :) could equally well be one of corroboration. That's to say, OP's "serve as testament of X's character" can mean "vouches for X", say. You can use typical instead of telling to convey confirmation of (either good or bad) character attributes. Dec 14, 2012 at 2:31

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