first·hand | \ ˈfərst-ˈhand \

Definition of firsthand 

: obtained by, coming from, or being direct personal observation or experience a firsthand account of the war … had a firsthand view of the turmoil that wracked the region. —William W. Finan, Jr.

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Other words from firsthand

firsthand adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for firsthand


direct, immediate, primary, unmediated


indirect, secondhand

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Examples of firsthand in a Sentence

He gave a firsthand account of the battle. She draws on firsthand experiences for her novel.

Recent Examples on the Web

And entrepreneurs also get firsthand experiences with an aging population that has to adapt to their ideas., "Meet 'Jimmy' the robot, new friend for senior California couple," 16 May 2018 Mikutel said he's seen firsthand the exodus of family and friends from the state. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Veteran, Newcomer Square Off In 45th District Race," 11 July 2018 Puknaitis visited Iovinelli in the hospital, and saw firsthand how serious the accident was. Rafael Guerrero, Naperville Sun, "Naperville paramedic recognized for off-duty rescue of retired Franklin Park fire chief," 20 June 2018 The potential wall between the two countries looms as a specter throughout the production, while Quixote and Sancho see firsthand the often tragic consequences for those trying to cross over through the stretches of harsh, unforgiving desert lands. Marcus Crowder,, "Former ‘Sesame Street’ star makes Cal Shakes’ ‘Quixote Nuevo’ an instant classic," 18 June 2018 During the events of Hurricane Harvey, residents saw firsthand the loyalty their staff had for Parkway Place and its residents. Houston Chronicle, "Loyalty brings peace of mind at Parkway Place," 15 June 2018 Cairns has firsthand experience being a pioneer in her field. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Why Diversity in the Artificial Intelligence Sector Is Critical," 12 June 2018 The Jane's Walk group saw firsthand why the Kneeland Properties could be a good location for a food and beverage hub. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Site beneath Milwaukee's High Rise Bridge awaits next wave of Menomonee Valley development," 11 May 2018 George Norcross, the eldest of the brothers, was also involved in helping craft the 2013 legislation, according to two people with firsthand knowledge of the process. Kate King, WSJ, "The Power Broker Behind Camden, N.J.’s Upswing," 9 July 2018

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

1699, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for firsthand

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for firsthand

The first known use of firsthand was in 1699

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More Definitions for firsthand



English Language Learners Definition of firsthand

: coming directly from actually experiencing or seeing something

first·hand | \ ˈfərst-ˈhand \

Kids Definition of firsthand

: coming right from the original source firsthand information I got the story firsthand.

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