I. witness wit‧ness 1 [ˈwɪtns] noun [countable] LAW
1. someone in a court of law who tells the court what they saw or what they know about a crime:

• The government's case rested on one key (= important ) witness.

• I was asked to testify as a defense witness (= acting to defend the person accused of committing a crime ) .

• the main prosecution witness (= acting to show that the accused person is guilty )

ˌexpert ˈwitness LAW
someone who has expert knowledge in a particular area and comes to a court of law to give their opinion about it:

• He appeared as an expert witness before several government inquiries.

2. someone who is present when an official paper is signed and who also signs it to prove this:
expert witness to

• You will need two witnesses to the signing of the document.

  [m0] II. witness witness 2 verb [transitive] LAW
to be present when someone signs an official document, and to sign it yourself to show this:

• Will you witness my signature?

* * *

witness UK US /ˈwɪtnəs/ noun [C] LAW
someone who gives information in a court of law about a particular person or event, usually when there has been a crime or an accident: witness for the defence/prosecution »

The key witness for the prosecution was given police protection.

act as/appear as/be called as a witness »

Doctors confirmed that he was not fit to be called as a witness in the trial.


The police are appealing for witnesses.


a credible/material witness


a witness account/statement

someone who signs an official document to prove that an event has happened or that someone is who they say they are: »

He signed the treaty in the presence of six witnesses.

See also EXPERT WITNESS(Cf. ↑expert witness)
witness UK US /ˈwɪtnəs/ verb [T]
to see something happen, especially an accident or a crime: »

The police want to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident.


witness an attack/crime

to sign your name on an official document to prove that an event has happened or that someone is who they say they are: witness an agreement/contract/signature »

She asked a colleague to witness the contract.

to experience something happening: »

India witnessed significant jumps in its growth rates as it opened up its economy to international trade.

Financial and business terms. 2012.


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 (cd) — Witness (album) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Witness (homonymie). Witness Album par Witness Sortie 1994 Enregistrement 1994 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 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 to — ˈwitness to [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they witness to he/she/it witnesses to present participle witnessing to past tense witnessed to …   Useful english 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

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