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[bahy-stan-der] /ˈbaɪˌstæn dər/
a person present but not involved; chance spectator; onlooker.
1610-20; by- + stander
observer, viewer, passerby, witness; rubberneck, sidewalk superintendent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bystanders
  • Brain cells thought to be bystanders communicate using chemicals.
  • You're not allowed to smoke in restaurants anymore because smokers make bystanders sick.
  • And even when it is, any bystanders should have a way of knowing what's coming.
  • The riot police charge, and bystanders hide in their doorways.
  • The nymphs bent low in homage, and all the bystanders paid reverence.
  • The eyes of the bystanders were immediately fixed on my bed.
  • The bystanders look askance on him in the public street or in the friend's parlor.
  • It partly coiled itself on the table, threatening the bystanders.
  • Officers were traditionally trained to help the wounded and evacuate bystanders.
  • As guns have proliferated, the rate at which bystanders are wounded and killed has soared.
British Dictionary definitions for bystanders


a person present but not involved; onlooker; spectator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bystanders



1610s, from by + agent noun from stand (v.). They have been innocent at least since 1829.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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