from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced: a witness to the accident.
  • n. One who furnishes evidence.
  • n. Something that serves as evidence; a sign.
  • n. Law One who is called on to testify before a court.
  • n. Law One who is called on to be present at a transaction in order to attest to what takes place.
  • n. Law One who signs one's name to a document for the purpose of attesting to its authenticity.
  • n. An attestation to a fact, statement, or event; testimony.
  • n. One who publicly affirms religious faith.
  • n. A member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
  • transitive v. To be present at or have personal knowledge of.
  • transitive v. To take note of; observe.
  • transitive v. To provide or serve as evidence of. See Synonyms at indicate.
  • transitive v. To testify to; bear witness.
  • transitive v. To be the setting or site of: This old auditorium has witnessed many ceremonies.
  • transitive v. To attest to the legality or authenticity of by signing one's name to.
  • intransitive v. To furnish or serve as evidence; testify.
  • intransitive v. To testify to one's religious beliefs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Attestation of a fact or event; the quality of witting something.
  • n. One who has a personal knowledge of something.
  • n. Someone called to give evidence in a court.
  • n. Something that serves as evidence; a sign.
  • v. To furnish proof of, to show.
  • v. To take as evidence.
  • v. To see, note, or gain knowledge of.
  • v. To present personal religious testimony; to preach at (someone) or on behalf of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Attestation of a fact or an event; testimony.
  • n. That which furnishes evidence or proof.
  • n. One who is cognizant; a person who beholds, or otherwise has personal knowledge of, anything.
  • n.
  • n. One who testifies in a cause, or gives evidence before a judicial tribunal.
  • n. One who sees the execution of an instrument, and subscribes it for the purpose of confirming its authenticity by his testimony; one who witnesses a will, a deed, a marriage, or the like.
  • intransitive v. To bear testimony; to give evidence; to testify.
  • transitive v. To see or know by personal presence; to have direct cognizance of.
  • transitive v. To give testimony to; to testify to; to attest.
  • transitive v. To see the execution of, as an instrument, and subscribe it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bear witness or testimony; give evidence; testify.
  • To take witness or notice.
  • To give testimony to; testify; bear witness of, or serve as evidence of; attest; prove; show.
  • [Witness in this sense is often used in the subjunctive imperatively or optatively, in many cases with inversion.
  • To show by one's behavior; betray as a sentiment.
  • To see or know by personal presence; be a witness of; observe.
  • To see the execution of and affix one's name to (a contract, will, or other document) for the purpose of establishing its identity: as, to witness a bond or a deed.
  • To foretell; presage; foretoken.
  • =Syn.3. Perceive, Observe, etc. See see.
  • n. In geology, an eroded fragment of former more extensive strata, remaining in testimony of that which has departed.
  • n. Testimony; attestation of a fact or event; evidence: often with bear: as, to bear witness.
  • n. One who or that which bears testimony or furnishes evidence or proof.
  • n. One who is personally present and sees some act or occurrence, or hears something spoken, and can therefore bear witness to it; a spectator.
  • n. A sponsor, as at a baptism or christening.
  • n. In law:
  • n. One who gives testimony on the trial of a cause; one who appears before a court, judge, or other officer, and is examined under oath or affirmation.
  • n. One whose testimony is offered, or desired and expected.
  • n. One in whose presence or under whose observation a fact occurred.
  • n. One who upon request by or on behalf of a party subscribes his name to an instrument to attest the genuineness of its execution: more exactly, an attesting witness or a subscribing witness.
  • n. In bookbinding, an occasional rough edge on the leaf of a bound book, which is a testimony that the leaves have not been unduly trimmed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perceive or be contemporaneous with
  • n. testimony by word or deed to your religious faith
  • n. a close observer; someone who looks at something (such as an exhibition of some kind)
  • n. (law) a person who testifies under oath in a court of law
  • n. (law) a person who attests to the genuineness of a document or signature by adding their own signature
  • v. be a witness to
  • n. someone who sees an event and reports what happened


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English, from wit, knowledge; see wit1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English witnesse, from Old English witnes ("knowledge, witness, testimony, a witness"), equivalent to wit +‎ -ness. Cognate with Middle Dutch wetenisse ("witness, testimony"), Old High German gewiznessi ("testimony").



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