I. noun Etymology: Middle English witnesse, from Old English witnes knowledge, testimony, witness, from 2wit Date: before 12th century 1. attestation of a fact or event ; testimony 2. one that gives evidence; specifically one who testifies in a cause or before a judicial tribunal 3. one asked to be present at a transaction so as to be able to testify to its having taken place 4. one who has personal knowledge of something 5. a. something serving as evidence or proof ; sign b. public affirmation by word or example of usually religious faith or conviction <
the heroic witness to divine life — Pilot
6. capitalized a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses II. verb Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to testify to ; attest 2. to act as legal witness of 3. to furnish proof of ; betoken 4. a. to have personal or direct cognizance of ; see for oneself <
witnessed the historic event
b. to take note of <
our grammar— witness our verb system—is a marvel of flexibility, variety, and exactitude — Charlton Laird
5. to constitute the scene or time of <
structures…which this striking Dorset hilltop once witnessedTimes Literary Supplement
intransitive verb 1. to bear witness ; testify 2. to bear witness to one's religious convictions <
opportunity to witness for Christ — Billy Graham
Synonyms: see certify

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • witness — wit·ness 1 n [Old English witnes knowledge, testimony, witness, from wit mind, sense, knowledge] 1 a: attestation of a fact or event in witness whereof the parties have executed this release b: evidence (as of the authenticity of a conveyance by… …   Law dictionary

  • WITNESS — (Heb. עֵד, one that has personal knowledge of an event or a fact. The evidence of at least two witnesses was required for convicting the accused (Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15; cf. I Kings 21:10, 13). Commercial transactions of importance took… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Witness — Wit ness, n. [AS. witness, gewitnes, from witan to know. [root]133. See {Wit}, v. i.] [1913 Webster] 1. Attestation of a fact or an event; testimony. [1913 Webster] May we with . . . the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Witness — • One who is present, bears testimony, furnishes evidence or proof Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Witness     Witness     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • witness — [n] person who observes an event attestant, attestor, beholder, bystander, corroborator, deponent, eyewitness, gawker, looker on, observer, onlooker, proof, rubbernecker*, signatory, signer, spectator, testifier, testimony, viewer, watcher;… …   New thesaurus

  • Witness — Wit ness, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Witnessed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Witnessing}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To see or know by personal presence; to have direct cognizance of. [1913 Webster] This is but a faint sketch of the incalculable calamities and horrors we …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • witness — [wit′nis] n. [ME witnesse < OE (ge)witnes, witness, knowledge, testimony < witan, to know: see WISE1 & NESS] 1. an attesting of a fact, statement, etc.; evidence; testimony 2. a person who saw, or can give a firsthand account of, something… …   English World dictionary

  • Witness — Wit ness, v. i. To bear testimony; to give evidence; to testify. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] The men of Belial witnessed against him. 1 Kings xxi. 13. [1913 Webster] The witnessing of the truth was then so generally attended with this event… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Witness — Título Único testigo (España) Testigo en peligro (Hispanoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Peter Weir Producción Edward S. Feldman …   Wikipedia Español

  • witness — ► NOUN 1) a person who sees an event take place. 2) a person giving sworn testimony to a court of law or the police. 3) a person who is present at the signing of a document and signs it themselves to confirm this. 4) (witness to) evidence or… …   English terms dictionary

  • witness — O.E. witnes attestation of fact, event, etc., from personal knowledge; also one who so testifies; originally knowledge, wit, formed from WIT (Cf. wit) (n.) + NESS (Cf. ness). Christian use (late 14c.) is as a literal translation of Gk. martys… …   Etymology dictionary

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