eye·​wit·​ness | \ ˈī-ˈwit-nəs How to pronounce eyewitness (audio) \

Definition of eyewitness

: 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 An eyewitness recording purporting to show Ahmad Erekat immediately after he was shot was posted on the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, WAFA. Andrew Carey, CNN, "Video of Palestinian man being shot after suspected attack at checkpoint sparks controversy," 26 June 2020 Preceding the moment, the protester was pushed to the ground after putting his hands on an officer, Rosas reported, citing an eyewitness account. Fox News, "Washington DC cops keep their cool while protesters taunt, provoke them in viral video," 23 June 2020 They were sentenced to life in prison after eyewitness testimony. NBC News, "Malcolm Scott, wrongfully convicted of murder, hopes to see shift in wake of George Floyd protests," 19 June 2020 After investigating and hearing eyewitness accounts of what the man had done, he was arrested and charged with criminal damaging and vehicle trespass. cleveland, "Man damages cars in Whole Foods parking lot: University Heights Police Blotter," 17 June 2020 Over the past decade, eyewitness footage filmed with cellphones has made possible a whole new form of journalism in which entire investigative stories can be told through video. Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica, "Why We Are Publishing Video of the Hours Before Phillip Garcia Died in Custody," 16 June 2020 Terence abandoned the vehicle and was behaving erratically, according to eyewitness accounts. Victor Luckerson, The New Yorker, "Tulsa’s Hopeful Anger," 16 June 2020 But social media videos have surfaced along with eyewitness accounts by Enquirer journalists, calling into question some instances in which officers used questionable force on protesters. Deon J. Hampton, Cincinnati.com, "Questions grow about police actions, tactics during Cincinnati protests," 12 June 2020 CNN Business corroborated this account with an eyewitness who said the incident happened out in the open where others could see. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Refinery29 is reeling from claims of racism and toxic work culture. Employees say it's even worse behind the scenes," 11 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eyewitness.' 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 eyewitness

1539, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for eyewitness

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The first known use of eyewitness was in 1539

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Statistics for eyewitness

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eyewitness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eyewitness. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for eyewitness


How to pronounce eyewitness (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eyewitness

: a person who sees something happen and is able to describe it



Legal Definition of eyewitness

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

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