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Direct(ly) (as opposed to second hand, or from a source other than oneself). Often hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. As a teacher, I've seen first hand how reading can change children's lives. We were finally about to hear some first-hand accounts of what happened.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
(at) first ˈhandfrom your own experience or knowledge, rather than from somebody else; directly: I know at first hand what it is like to be poor; we always had very little money at home. ♢ We have a first-hand account of the raid from a witness.
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