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 deed) furnished by signature, oath, or seal
2: one who gives evidence regarding matters of fact under inquiry; specif: one who testifies or is legally qualified to testify in a case or to give evidence before a judicial tribunal or similar inquiry
a witness before a congressional committee
no person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himselfU.S. Constitution amend. V compare affiant, deponent
adverse witness: a witness who is called by or associated with an opposing party or who by statement, conduct, or other evidence (as of relationship) shows bias against or is injurious to the case of the party by whom the witness is called
sought to have his witness declared an adverse witness subject to impeachment – called also hostile witness; see also leading question at question 1
alibi witness: a witness upon whom a criminal defendant relies in establishing an alibi
char·ac·ter witness: a witness who testifies as to the character or reputation esp. of a criminal defendant: a witness who gives character evidence
expert witness: a witness (as a medical specialist) who by virtue of special knowledge, skill, training, or experience is qualified to provide testimony to aid the factfinder in matters that exceed the common knowledge of ordinary people
hostile witness: adverse witness in this entry
lay witness: a witness who is not an expert witness
material witness: a witness whose testimony is necessary for trial and whose presence may sometimes be secured by the state by subpoena, custody, or recognizance
prosecuting witness: a witness (as the victim of a crime) whose own allegations initiate the prosecution of the defendant
qualified witness: a witness who has sufficient understanding of a record-keeping system to provide testimony that forms the proper foundation for admission of evidence under the business records exception to the hearsay rule
rebuttal witness: a witness called upon to rebut evidence already presented
3: one who is called on to be present at a transaction so as to be able to testify to its occurrence; specif: one who sees the execution of an instrument and signs it to confirm its authenticity
a witness to a will
a witness to an assault
bear witness: to furnish or constitute proof or evidence
witness 2 vt
1: to furnish evidence or proof of
2: to act as witness of: as
a: to see the execution of (an instrument) and sign for the purpose of establishing authenticity
witness a will
b: to be formally present as a witness of (as a transaction or the execution of a convict)
3 a: to see or experience directly
b: to take note of
vi: to bear witness: give evidence
witness 3 adj: being an object or location used to ascertain a precise boundary point esp. on a corner of a tract when marking that point itself is impracticable or impossible
a witness tree
a witness corner

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun attestant, attestor, beholder, bystander, compurgator, corroborator, deponent, informant, informer, looker, looker-on, observer, one who gives testimony, onlooker, person affording evidence, reporter, swearer, testifier, testis associated concepts: adverse witness, attestation, attesting witness, available witness, call as a witness, compel the attendance of witnesses, competent disinterested witness, competent witness, confronting a witness, credible witness, cross-examination, discredited witness, disinterested witness, expert witness, eyewitness, hostile witness, impeachment of a witness, material witness, nonexpert witness, prosecution witness, res gestae witness, skilled witness, specially qualified witness, state witness, subscribing witness, tampering with a witness, voluntary witness foreign phrases:
- Habemus optimum testem, confitentem reum. — We have the best witness, a confessing defendant
- Nemo allegans suam turpitudinem audien dus est — No one should be permitted to testify as a witness to his own baseness or wickedness
- Nullus idoneus testis in re sua intelligitur. — No person is deemed to be a competent witness in his own behalf
- Judex non potest esse testis in propria causa. — A judge cannot be a witness in his own case.
- Jurato creditur in judicio. — He who makes an oath is to be believed in a judicial proceeding
- Quod constat curiae opere testium non indiget. — That which is clear to the court needs not the help of witnesses.
- Nemo tenetur edere instrumenta contra se. — No one is bound to produce writings against himself
- Nemo tenetur jurare in suam turpitudinem. — No one is bound to testify to his own turpitude
- Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum. — No one is bound to betray himself.
- Testis nemo in sua causa esse potest. — No one can be a witness in his own cause
- Testis de visu praeponderat aliis. — An eyewitness is preferred to others
- Nemo in propria causa testis esse debet. — No one ought to be a witness in his own cause
II (attest to) verb acknowledge, affirm, authenticate, bear out, bear witness, certify, confirm, corroborate, cosign, countersign, endorse, give evidence, give testimony, say under oath, sign, substantiate, sustain, swear, take one's oath, testari, testificari, testify to, testimonium dicere, undersign, uphold, validate, verify, vouch for, warrant associated concepts: witness a crime, witness a document, witness a will III (have direct knowledge of) verb be a spectator, be present and note, behold, mark, note, notice, observe, recognize, see, sight, spectare, spot, take cognizance of, videre, view, watch IV index attest, avow, bystander, bystander, corroboration, declarant, deponent, depose (testify), discern (detect with the senses), indicator, informant, notarize, note (notice), notice (observe), perceive, pierce (discern), regard (pay attention), subscribe (sign), verify (swear), vouch

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A person who has seen or experienced some event; a person who testifies under oath about seeing or experiencing some event, or about the character of someone involved in a lawsuit. See also character witness, material witness

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

a person who gives evidence; in court such evidence must be given on oath or by affirmation.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A person who testifies under oath at a deposition or trial, providing firsthand or expert evidence. The term also refers to someone who watches another person sign a document and then adds his or her name to confirm (called "attesting") that the signature is genuine.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: If, When & Where to File a Lawsuit
Category: Mediation, Arbitration & Collaborative Law
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 n. A person who gives testimony under oath and penalty of perjury in a court of law
2 v. To observe the execution of a legal document and to authenticate it by affixing one's name to it.
@ adverse witness
@ character witness
One who testifies to the reputation of another as a reliable, reputable member of the community. Character witnesses may be used to support or impugn the testimony of a key party.
=>> witness.
@ expert witness
=>> expert.
@ hostile witness
One whose adverse relationship to a party may prejudice his or her testimony against that party. A person declared to be a hostile witness may be asked leading questions and may be cross-examined by the party who called him or her.
n. A witness who is expected to make assertions that are adverse to those being set forth by the party calling the witness. Because of the adverse nature, the questioning lawyer is given wide latitude to question the hostile witness by way of leading questions, not ordinarily permitted on direct examination. Typically called to establish the truth of matters that cannot be proved through a friendly witness.
=>> witness.
@ lay witness
A witness other than an expert witness.
=>> witness.
@ material witness
A witness called to testify about an important or essential matter, or a matter having a logical and necessary connection to the facts under consideration.
=>> witness.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

One who personally sees or perceives a thing; one who testifies as to what he has seen, heard, or otherwise observed.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) n. a person who testifies under oath in a trial (or a deposition which may be used in a trial if the witness is not available) with first-hand or expert evidence useful in a lawsuit. A party to the lawsuit (plaintiff or defendant) may be a witness.
   2) n. a person who sees an event.
   3) n. a person who observes the signing of a document like a will or a contract and signs as a witness on the document attesting that the document was signed in the presence of the witness.
   4) v. to sign a document verifying that he/she observed the execution of the document such as a will.
   See also: deposition, evidence, trial, will

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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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