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.

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 In April, the Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners traveled to the Red Water Pond Road Community and heard from residents who shared firsthand accounts of the traumatizing health and livelihood experiences caused by the mines. Arlyssa D. Becenti, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2022 Some of the stories are firsthand accounts, delivered with video presentations by a dozen individuals at the center of the gallery—an area called El Foro, the Forum, designed to look like a town plaza with benches at one end. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 July 2022 Diving into 70 years of alleged abuse within the Boy Scouts of America and the organization’s failure to protect the boys entrusted to them, this documentary has firsthand accounts from survivors about their experiences and journey for justice. Olivia Mccormack, Washington Post, 16 June 2022 The 2½-minute trailer previews the documentary’s material, including financial records, court documents as well as firsthand accounts from survivors seeking justice amid a high-stakes court case. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 June 2022 The event’s repercussions come into focus through the recollections of Professor Alex Green, snippets of scientific scholarship, and firsthand accounts. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 May 2022 This incontrovertible fact lends a sense of urgency and poignancy to firsthand accounts of how survivors managed to endure and to move on. Alissa Simon, Variety, 2 May 2022 During a committee hearing, lawmakers heard firsthand accounts from a young transgender girl about how important playing for a middle school field hockey is in her life. NBC News, 7 Apr. 2022 In firsthand accounts, Afghan civilians and U.S. Marines describe the desperate struggle to flee through the Kabul airport’s last open entrance. Mirzahussain Sadid, ProPublica, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near firsthand

First Gentleman


first inversion

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Firsthand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for firsthand


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on firsthand

Nglish: Translation of firsthand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of firsthand for Arabic Speakers


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