see also: Witness
  • IPA: /ˈwɪtnəs/, /ˈwɪtnɪs/


  1. (uncountable) Attestation of a fact or event; testimony.
    She can bear witness, since she was there at the time.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act IV, Scene ii:
      May we, with the warrant of womanhood and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?
  2. (countable) One who sees or has personal knowledge of something.
    As a witness to the event, I can confirm that he really said that.
    • c. 1589-93, William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene ii:
      […] thyself art witness— I am betrothed.
    • Upon my looking round, I was witness to appearances which filled me with melancholy and regret.
  3. (countable, law) Someone called to give evidence in a court.
    The witness for the prosecution did not seem very credible.
  4. (countable) One who is called upon to witness#Verb|witness an event or action, such as a wedding or the signing of a document.
    The bridesmaid and best man at a wedding typically serve as the witnesses.
  5. (countable) Something that serves as evidence; a sign or token.
    • Bible, Genesis xxxi. 51, 52
      Laban said to Jacob, […] This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

witness (witnesses, present participle witnessing; past and past participle witnessed)

  1. (transitive) To furnish proof of, to show.
    This certificate witnesses his presence on that day.
    • 1667: round he throws his baleful eyes / That witness'd huge affliction and dismay — John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1 ll. 56-7
  2. (transitive) To take as evidence.
  3. (transitive) To see or gain knowledge of through experience.
    He witnessed the accident.
    • This is but a faint sketch of the incalculable calamities and horrors we must expect, should we ever witness the triumphs of modern infidelity.
    • General Washington did not live to witness the restoration of peace.
  4. (intransitive, construed with to or for) To present personal religious testimony; to preach at (someone) or on behalf of.
    • 1998, "Niebuhr, Reinhold", Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, volume 6‎, page 842
      Instead, Niebuhr's God was the God witnessed to in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, the Bible of the Christian world.
  5. To see the execution of (a legal instrument), and subscribe it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity.
    to witness a bond or a deed
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations

witness (plural witnesses)

  1. Jehovah's Witness

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.003
Offline English dictionary