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at first hand

Directly from the origin, without intervention or intermediary. For example, I prefer to hear his criticism at first hand, rather than having it passed on by my boss. This phrase uses hand in the sense of “person” (coming directly from one person). [First half of 1700s] Also see at second hand.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.