by·stand·er | \ ˈbī-ˌstan-dər \

Definition of bystander 

: one who is present but not taking part in a situation or event : a chance spectator innocent bystanders who were injured in the shooting

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Examples of bystander in a Sentence

Two innocent bystanders were injured in the shooting. bystanders rushed to help the victim of the mugging

Recent Examples on the Web

It is also understood that Harit made an attempt to flee the scene in the aftermath of the incident, according to a report from Hespress, but was prevented from doing so by a number of bystanders., "Schalke Star Amine Harit Involved in Serious Traffic Incident in Morocco Following World Cup Exit," 1 July 2018 Among a number of bystanders who had gathered to watch the action was Jeiron Session, a freelance videographer from New York. Joseph Serna,, "Publicity stunt triggers massive traffic jam in downtown L.A. as rap artist scales traffic sign," 27 June 2018 Tensions quickly escalated as patrons resisted arrest and a growing crowd of bystanders threw bottles and coins at the officers. Ayana Archie And Brandon Griggs, CNN, "It's Pride Month. Here's what you need to know," 13 June 2018 Pollution was said to make its way into the lungs of bystanders during animal sacrifice. Bettany Hughes, New York Times, "How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World," 8 June 2018 In fact, in trade wars, both sides often lose – and bystanders get hurt, too. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Trade wars are damaging, so why is Trump fighting one with China?," 13 July 2018 But as the two continued to fight, the 13-year NFL veteran rushed Ragin and delivered a powerful blow that knocked the airport employee to the ground, ending the fight after bystanders separated the men., "NFL Star Pacman Jones Knocks Down Airport Worker Who Attacked Him on Video," 12 July 2018 Fellow passengers immediately crowd around her to help free her and seconds later about a dozen bystanders push the train, tilting it enough to allow the woman to break free. Gina Martinez, Time, "Boston Commuters Band Together to Free Woman Caught Between Train and Platform," 4 July 2018 The Social Democrats, who have largely been bystanders so far, demanded that their coalition partners get their act together, and planned a meeting with the conservative leaders. David Rising, The Seattle Times, "Compromise reached in German government migration standoff," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bystander.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bystander

1584, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for bystander

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for bystander

The first known use of bystander was in 1584

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More Definitions for bystander



English Language Learners Definition of bystander

: a person who is standing near but not taking part in what is happening


by·stand·er | \ ˈbī-ˌstan-dər \

Kids Definition of bystander

: a person present or standing near but taking no part in what is going on

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