From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
6. (Law) The act of laying down one's testimony in writing; also, testimony laid or taken down in writing, under oath or affirmation, before some competent officer, and in reply to interrogatories and cross-interrogatories.
Usage: Affidavit is the wider term. It denotes any authorized ex parte written statement of a person, sworn to or affirmed before some competent magistrate. It is made without cross-examination, and requires no notice to an opposing party. It is generally signed by the party making it, and may be drawn up by himself or any other person. A deposition is the written testimony of a witness, taken down in due form of law, and sworn to or affirmed by the deponent. It must be taken before some authorized magistrate, and upon a prescribed or reasonable notice to the opposing party, that may attend and cross-examine. It is generally written down from the mouth of the witness by the magistrate, or some person for him, and in his presence.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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