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See more synonyms for bystander on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person present but not involved; chance spectator; onlooker.
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Origin of bystander

First recorded in 1610–20; by- + stand + -er1

Synonyms for bystander

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bystander

eyewitness, observer, spectator, onlooker, passerby, viewer, kibitzer, witness, watcher, looker-on, gaper

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Contemporary Examples of bystander

Historical Examples of bystander

British Dictionary definitions for bystander


  1. a person present but not involved; onlooker; spectator
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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

Word Origin and History for bystander


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper