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 Several members have no firsthand experience with the hardship brought on by the pandemic, said an individual close to the commission who requested anonymity to speak candidly about its work. Washington Post, 20 May 2021 Those living with a person may have more firsthand knowledge than a police officer or prosecutor regarding a person’s state of mind at the time, said Rep. Steven Stafstrom, a Bridgeport Democrat who co-chairs the legislature’s judiciary committee. Christopher Keating,, 12 May 2021 Undergraduate students are front-and-center in this type of work, getting firsthand experience with the coding and problem-solving required of computer scientists. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2021 The state relied on nursing home administrators, who had more firsthand knowledge of each case, to winnow the list down to 5,502 deaths., 23 Apr. 2021 At least some of the complaints raised by Abbott did not match the firsthand experience of County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores, who has volunteered at the facility with her church twice. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Apr. 2021 An ordained Taoist priest, Professor Schipper combined firsthand knowledge of rural religious life with deep textual study of classical Chinese. New York Times, 4 Apr. 2021 Biden is getting a firsthand look at the juggling act required of all presidents. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, 24 Mar. 2021 Over the next two hours fans got a firsthand look at what to expect, at least early on, from the program under Harsin’s guidance. Tom Green |, al, 21 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of firsthand was in 1699

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Statistics for firsthand

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Firsthand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for firsthand



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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