eye·​wit·​ness ˈī-ˈwit-nəs How to pronounce eyewitness (audio)
: one who sees an occurrence or an object
especially : one who gives a report on what he or she has seen

Examples of eyewitness in a Sentence

The police are hoping to locate an eyewitness to the shooting. He was able to give an eyewitness account of the shooting.
Recent Examples on the Web Back on Capitol Hill, the lawmakers’ eyewitness accounts of brutal repression under Pinochet convinced Senator Edward Kennedy to lead the fight in Congress to eliminate economic and military aid to Chile. Pablo Manríquez, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2023 Editor’s note: This story is based on hours of interviews, eyewitness accounts, news stories, event coverage and court documents. Maggie Prosser, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 The main problem, Nelson and the report’s authors stressed, is that while there are plenty of eyewitness accounts of strange lights in the sky, very little high-quality, standardized data has been collected from these incidents. WIRED, 14 Sep. 2023 Law enforcement officials said eyewitnesses have spotted Cavalcante several times − including once by a state trooper who briefly chased but was unable to capture the fugitive − in a region around Pocopson Township. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, 5 Sep. 2023 Footage from social media and eyewitnesses captured the nightmarish conditions. Analisa Novak, CBS News, 18 Aug. 2023 What followed was a gruesome massacre, eyewitnesses said, believed to be one of the most violent incidents in the genocide-scarred Sudanese region’s history. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, 16 Aug. 2023 Natarajan noted that roughly 70 percent of people who have been exonerated for a crime were initially convicted because of an overreliance on eyewitnesses who confidently identified the wrong person. Ivy Scott, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2023 Such claims are inherently difficult to adjudicate because of many of the factors at issue in this case: a lack of eyewitnesses and recordings, the passage of time and the thorniness of litigating consent. USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eyewitness.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eyewitness was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near eyewitness

Cite this Entry

“Eyewitness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eyewitness. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


eye·​wit·​ness -ˈwit-nəs How to pronounce eyewitness (audio)
: a person who sees an occurrence and is able to give a report of it

Legal Definition


: one who sees an occurrence or object or sometimes experiences it through other senses (as hearing) and usually reports or testifies about it
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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