first·​hand | \ ˈfərst-ˈhand How to pronounce firsthand (audio) \

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

Melissa Griffith of Dallas knows firsthand the pain of waiting to find out what was wrong with her daughter. Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Washington Post, "Rapid genome sequencing could revolutionize health care for acutely ill babies," 10 June 2018 The collection starts with the couple's firsthand account of opening Bestia, memories of their training (or lack thereof), and why Italian food captured their hearts and tastebuds. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018 In 2012, Carolyn Corbin, who lives in the Channel Islands, got some firsthand experience with fasting’s flexibility. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Perhaps from a family where honor was in the atmosphere or from the firsthand experience of cruelty which left physical reminders that lasted his whole life. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of George W. Bush's Eulogy for John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 For the more adventurous travelers, the Bold Coast offers more than scenery with firsthand cultural experiences like clam digging and goat milking to make cheese. Lydia Culp, Fox News, "Best US road trips," 2 Apr. 2018 Principal Angelia Ross knows firsthand how global events can intersect with the everyday lives of Texas teachers. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "'After the headlines have faded,' they will be the first to see immigrant children's trauma," 29 June 2018 Melissa Griffith of Dallas knows firsthand the pain of waiting to find out what was wrong with her daughter. Sarah Elizabeth Richards,, "Rapid sequencing of babies' genes may save lives," 11 June 2018 Pierce knows firsthand the difficulties of beating a good Texas team on its own field. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "UT to battle Tennessee Tech for CWS berth," 8 June 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

13 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce firsthand (audio) \

Kids Definition of firsthand

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

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Comments on firsthand

What made you want to look up firsthand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

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