by·​stand·​er | \ ˈbī-ˌstan-dər How to pronounce bystander (audio) \

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

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The incident was captured by several bystanders from a handful of angles. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Tank Performs Strange Maneuver at Military Parade," 24 Aug. 2018 Protesters were cheered on by bystanders holding their phones up, recording videos and taking photos. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Protesters rally at Mesa Police Department; call for change," 8 June 2018 Video of both confrontations was captured by bystanders and went viral online, prompting outrage around the country. NBC News, "Black police chiefs grapple with officers' treatment of young black men," 14 May 2018 Officers talked to witnesses and looked at video shot by bystanders. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Dells water park melee erupts after chair taken from group's table," 14 May 2018 And some, including the Trump administration, fear Assad’s troops may use chemical weapons on these innocent bystanders. Alex Ward, Vox, "Turkey’s last-ditch effort to stop mass slaughter in Syria just failed," 7 Sep. 2018 The shot hit an innocent bystander across the parking lot, Daniel Strada, 28, of Lake Mary, deputies said. David Harris,, "No charges to be filed in Colonial Town Park shooting that killed 2, Seminole deputies say," 9 July 2018 But Rothstein was no innocent bystander (more on that in a bit)., "Thought The Staircase Was Crazy? Evil Genius Is Your Next True Crime Binge," 20 June 2018 With little or no training, bystanders can reverse an opioid overdose with a naloxone nasal spray or by injection of the drug. Carla K. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Q&A: Feds tackle opioid epidemic, but is it helping?," 28 Jan. 2019

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

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for bystander

The first known use of bystander was in 1584

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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 How to pronounce bystander (audio) \

Kids Definition of bystander

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

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