[noun ahy-wit-nis, ahy-wit-nis; verb ahy-wit-nis]


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

First recorded in 1530–40; eye + witness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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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

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