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[n. ahy-wit-nis, ahy-wit-nis; v. ahy-wit-nis] /n. ˈaɪˌwɪt nɪs, ˈaɪˈwɪt nɪs; v. ˈaɪˌwɪt nɪs/
a person who actually sees some act, occurrence, or thing and can give a firsthand account of it:
There were two eyewitnesses to the murder.
verb (used with object)
to view with one's own eyes:
to eyewitness a murder.
Origin of eyewitness
1530-40; eye + witness Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for eyewitness
  • So your eyewitness is unreliable by definition, unless of course they have a video of the event.
  • At the same time, military historians all know the danger of accepting eyewitness accounts.
  • None of the telegrams could have been written by an eyewitness of their advance.
  • It was as though an eyewitness from antiquity had stepped forward with photographs of the disaster.
  • As science has long demonstrated, eyewitness accounts are frequently riddled with errors.
  • Most of the wrongful convictions were based on eyewitness mistakes.
  • eyewitness testimony is fickle and, all too often, shockingly inaccurate.
  • We are only beginning to realize how unreliable eyewitness testimony can sometimes be.
  • He also wanted to gather eyewitness testimony from residents who had seen the explosion.
  • Mistaken eyewitness identification is a major culprit, but fingerprint misidentification is cited too.
British Dictionary definitions for eyewitness


  1. a person present at an event who can describe what happened
  2. (as modifier): an eyewitness account
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 eyewitness

1530s, from eye (n.) + witness (n.). As a verb from 1844. Related: Eyewitnessed; eyewitnessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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