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



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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 The downtown area slowly turned chaotic, according to firsthand accounts, confirming that the decision to remove Confederate statues from the city has become a polarizing topic for Shreveport residents and the nation. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Armed Black Men Show Up To Hearing On Confederate Statues To Protect Black Women," 2 July 2020 Touring Europe, Douglass exposed the cracks of freedom and the cruelty of slavery by giving audiences a firsthand look at tools such as manacles, chains, and whips. Kwin Mosby, Travel + Leisure, "How Travel Shaped Frederick Douglass’ Famous Speech 'What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?'," 1 July 2020 Freling has firsthand experience brightening up student housing, including her daughter’s cozy dorm room last fall. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "Create a Home-Away-from-Home with These Dorm Decorating Ideas," 25 June 2020 The wave of firsthand accounts and activism has led to resignations, drawing parallels to the #MeToo movement. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "George Floyd protests lead to reckoning as Black employees speak out on racism and discrimination in the workplace," 17 June 2020 Typically in ninth and 11th grades, students also are encouraged to research survivors and learn their firsthand accounts of the 1921 violence. Ken Miller And Michael Melia, Houston Chronicle, "How black history is taught in schools faces new scrutiny," 19 June 2020 Typically in ninth and 11th grades, students also are encouraged to research survivors and learn their firsthand accounts of the 1921 violence. Ken Miller And Michael Melia, The Christian Science Monitor, "Black history in schools: How lessons can be improved," 19 June 2020 People of all ages are invited to be a part of this community art project by documenting firsthand experiences during this historic time. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Job seekers need to show interest, not desperation," 19 June 2020 Their area scouts, the team’s best source for firsthand information on amateur players, will start furloughs Monday that last through the end of October. Susan Slusser,, "As A’s draft preparations wrap up, furloughs of area scouts ‘really hurt’," 9 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for firsthand

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The first known use of firsthand was in 1699

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Statistics for firsthand

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firsthand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for firsthand


How to pronounce firsthand (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of firsthand

: coming directly from actually experiencing or seeing something


adjective or adverb
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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