or first-hand

[ furst-hand ]
See synonyms for firsthand on
  1. from the first or original source: We heard the news of the accident firsthand from a witness.

  1. of or relating to the first or original source.

  2. direct from the original source: firsthand knowledge of the riot.

Origin of firsthand

First recorded in 1690–1700; first + hand Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use firsthand in a sentence

  • Apart from him and his adherents there is indeed no first-hand evidence for Palladian Masonry.

    Devil-Worship in France | Arthur Edward Waite
  • Human life at first-hand had not been too plentiful with him.

    Tristram of Blent | Anthony Hope
  • Before oil was introduced for the lamps it is said the lantern was lit by coal-fires—a kind of first-hand use of gas.

    The Cornwall Coast | Arthur L. Salmon
  • Possibly the first-hand memoir of a miracle would have satisfied us, or the harrowing confessions and last wishes of the moribund.

  • A first-hand account of how the Indian brave decorated his face cannot but prove of interest.

British Dictionary definitions for first-hand


adjective, adverb
  1. from the original source; direct or directly: first-hand news; he got the news first-hand

  2. at first hand from the original source; directly

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with firsthand


see at first hand.

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