Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
be (a) witness to (something)
1. To see something happen. I was a witness to many inappropriate situations when I worked in an office. Were you witness to the accident, or did you arrive at the scene after it happened?
2. To be proof of something. The many students on campus these days are a witness to the school's successful rebranding efforts.
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 in the Bible, 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.
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.
give witness to (something)
To support or prove a claim or idea by one's (or something's) physical presence or existence. The many students on campus these days give witness to the school's successful rebranding efforts. The beautiful homes and vibrant gardens give witness to the rebirth of this neighborhood.
lead a/the witness
To ask a witness at a trial a question that is articulated in such a way as to suggest that a particular answer or piece of information is true or has been established. This practice is forbidden in courts in America. Mr. Smith, I will not allow you to lead a witness in my courtroom. Either ask legitimate questions, or I will find you in contempt of court. Objection! The prosecution is clearly leading the witness.
A question articulated in such a specific way as to suggest that a particular answer or piece of information is true or has been established. A: "Don't you think the mayor's office should be doing more to prevent corruption?" B: "I resent being asked such a leading question, and I can assure you we are doing all we can." She asked me when I was going to take her out on a date, and I was taken aback at such a leading question.
may God be my witness
Used to emphasize a statement one swears to be absolutely true. A: "Tom, what happened to the money I gave you? I thought you were going to take it to the bank." B: "I did, may God be my witness! I handed it to the teller myself!" May God be my witness, Mary, I am going to do whatever it takes to prove my love for you!
with God as my witness
Used to emphasize a statement one swears to be absolutely true. A: "Tom, what happened to the money I gave you? I thought you were going to take it to the bank." B: "I did! With God as my witness, I handed it to the teller myself!" With God as my witness, Mary, I am going to do whatever it takes to prove my love for you!
witness for (someone or something)
1. To present oneself in a court of law to testify or give evidence on behalf of someone or some group. They want me to testify for the defense, but I'm terrified of going up in front of a judge and jury. The man who is witnessing for the plaintiff had his credibility seriously undermined during the cross-examination.
2. To evangelize or proselytize on behalf of a deity or religion. I firmly believe it is my calling in life to witness for our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Many in the region have been persecuted for witnessing for their faith.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
bear/give ˈwitness (to something)provide evidence of the truth of something: The huge crowd bore witness to the popularity of this man.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017