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 51-49 vote Friday, with only two moderate Republicans defecting, prevented former national security adviser John Bolton and others with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s Ukraine dealings from appearing under oath. Arnessa Garrett, Dallas News, "Biden’s lead among Texas voters grows, Iowa caucus snafu, impeachment trial winds down, Ellis becomes sanctuary ‘county’ for unborn," 4 Feb. 2020 During your time in the village, get a firsthand look at how conservation is woven into everyday life in Costa Rica. National Geographic, "Costa Rica Community Service: Tropical Ecosystem Conservation," 25 Sep. 2019 Back in 2015, Ars got a firsthand look at the work of Zebra Technologies, an enterprise data company that had just started working on more granular player tracking. David Kravets, Ars Technica, "How the NFL—not the NSA—is impacting data gathering well beyond the gridiron," 1 Sep. 2019 Davis saw firsthand the woeful lack of resources to help families. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Denise Ilitch speaks about her brother Ron's death, works to fight opioids," 21 Dec. 2019 As the label for Hamilton, which has sold over 6 million copies, Atlantic saw firsthand how a cast album can create worldwide demand for a show that has expanded internationally to England, Australia and Germany. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "You Oughta Bundle: Alanis Morissette's 'Jagged' Musical Is First to Package Cast Album With a Ticket," 12 Dec. 2019 In this searing drama, France's entry for this year's Oscar for best international film, a new recruit to an anti-crime unit in the Paris suburbs sees firsthand the chasm between the cops and people of color struggling to survive in the community. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's coming to the movies for the rest of 2019? Oscar contenders, Taylor Swift in 'Cats' and, yes, 'Star Wars'," 25 Nov. 2019 Around that time, Jolene started working at a veterinary clinic and saw firsthand the fate of many disabled pets. Lizz Schumer, Woman's Day, "Disabled Pets are Able to Live 'Long, Healthy Lives' Thanks to Heath’s Haven Rescue & Sanctuary Helps Disabled Pups Live Their Best Life," 21 Nov. 2019 To see firsthand that this is working meant the world to us. Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit, "You Make All That We Do at Bon Appétit Worth It," 22 Oct. 2019

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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firsthand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 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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