witness


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bear false witness

To lie about or misrepresent the truth about some event, person, or thing. In common usage, it usually refers to perjury (telling a lie while under oath in a court of law) or to the Ninth Commandment of the Old Testament, from which the phrase is taken: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Even if it is a small lie and seems harmless, if you bear false witness under oath, you may end up going to jail yourself.
See also: bear, false, witness

bear witness to (something)

To support or prove a claim or idea by one's (or something's) physical presence. The many students on campus these days bear witness to the school's successful rebranding efforts. The beautiful homes and vibrant gardens bear witness to the rebirth of this neighborhood.
See also: bear, witness

leading question

a question that suggests the kind of answer that the person who asks it wants to hear. The mayor was angered by the reporter's leading questions. "Don't you think that the police are failing to stop crime?" is an example of a leading question.
See also: leading, question

witness for someone or something

to serve as a witness for some person or some deed. They could find no one to witness to something witness for the accused person. The police found someone to witness for the hour of the crime.
See also: witness

witness to something

to serve as a witness to some act or deed. I was witness to the beating. We were not witness to any of the activities you have described.
See also: witness

leading question

A question worded so as to elicit particular information or a particular answer, as in When are you selling the business? This example assumes that the person is going to sell the business, an action that may not have been established or revealed. This expression originated with a specific meaning in law, that is, "a question that guides a witness toward a desired answer." In court, this practice is called leading a witness and is forbidden. [Mid-1800s]
See also: leading, question

be (a) ˈwitness to something


1 (formal) see something take place: He has been witness to a terrible murder.
2 (written) show that something is true; provide evidence for something: His good health is a witness to the success of the treatment.
See also: something, witness

bear/give ˈwitness (to something)

provide evidence of the truth of something: The huge crowd bore witness to the popularity of this man.
See also: bear, give, witness
References in classic literature ?
Stryver replied to my Lord, no; but he would ask the witness to tell him whether what happened once, might happen twice; whether he would have been so confident if he had seen this illustration of his rashness sooner, whether he would be so confident, having seen it; and more.
You will naturally be anxious to hear of the witness, Miss Manette.
Captain Cutler was a far less plausible and composed witness than Sir Wilson, but his account of the opening incidents was solidly the same.
The last witness said it was," commented the counsel, with unscrupulous swiftness.
The third, witness called by Sir Walter Cowdray was the little Catholic clergyman, so little, compared with the others, that his head seemed hardly to come above the box, so that it was like cross-examining a child.
The witness offered a remark on the weather; and the gentleman said, "Yes, it looks like a bad night"--and so went away.
Consulting a later number of the newspaper Emily discovered that the deceased person had been identified by a witness from London.
Are you aware of the solemnity of the oath you took to testify to nothing but the truth on this witness stand?
You are here as a witness, sir, of events that have transpired.
Detective-inspector Japp was the first witness called when the trial was reopened, and gave his evidence succinctly and briefly.
One witness "declared also That the said Alan Breck threatened that he would challenge Ballieveolan and his sons to fight because of his removing the declarant last year from Glenduror.
I have explained to him that the law of England allows Madame Fosco to witness a signature as well as her husband.
I will not have it cast in my teeth, at some future day, that Madame Fosco acted under my coercion, and was, in plain fact, no witness at all.
They looked positively awful when Serjeant Snubbin intimated that he should not cross-examine the witness, for Mr.
Now, Mr Brass's gentleman has it whispered in his ear that this witness is disposed to be friendly to the prisoner--which, to say the truth, he is rather glad to hear, as his strength is considered to lie in what is familiarly termed badgering.