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witness

wit·ness

witness

 
 
pronunciation:
wIt nihs
parts of speech:
verb, noun
features:
Word History, Word Explorer, Word Parts
part of speech: verb
inflections: witnessed, witnesses, witnessing
definition 1: to watch or be present at.
He witnessed the accident.They witnessed their son's college graduation.
synonyms:
attend, watch
similar words:
behold, observe, view
definition 2: to prove that a will or other legal paper was signed properly by signing it oneself.
The old man's two sons witnessed his will.
synonyms:
attest, sign
similar words:
endorse, initial
 
part of speech: noun
definition 1: a person who sees or hears something that happened.
He was a witness to the fight.
synonyms:
eyewitness, spectator
similar words:
beholder, bystander, observer, viewer
definition 2: a person who gives evidence in a court of law.
The witness said that the accident was the other driver's fault.
definition 3: a person who proves a legal paper was signed properly by signing it as well.
They signed as witnesses of their mother's will.
derivations: witnessable (adj.), witnesser (n.)
Word History
The word witness comes from wit, which in Old English means "knowledge."
Word Explorer
See
  crime, law
Word Parts
The word witness contains the following part:
-ness Old English noun-forming suffix that means state or quality of
Show wordsHide wordsMore about this word part:
The suffix -ness is attached to adjectives to form nouns. It is fully productive, meaning that any word that combines an adjective and the suffix -ness is an allowable English noun. In a small set of cases, it is attached to a verb (forgiveness) or a noun (witness ).