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

be (a) witness to (something)

1. To see something happen. Were there any witnesses to the accident?
2. To be proof of something. The many students on campus these days are a witness to the school's successful rebranding efforts.
See also: witness

give 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 give witness to the school's successful rebranding efforts. The beautiful homes and vibrant gardens give witness to the rebirth of this neighborhood.
See also: give, witness

leading question

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.
See also: leading, question

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.
See also: lead, 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 ?
He had slipped into treating his mere witness as an expert; but no one noticed it now.
The poor lady's dress was torn," said the witness, "because it was caught in a panel that slid to just behind her.
The Lord Advocate thereupon continued his examination of the witness.
Having directed his examination to the attainment of this object, the Lord Advocate had done with the witness.
And if I find no reason for starting any small scruples on my side, you may rely on me as a witness.
Gary Lustgarten, MD, says social responsibility drives him to be an expert witness in medical malpractice cases.
An example of this is McCarthy's treatment of Edward Rothschild, a witness questioned during an investigation of the Government Printing Office.
Prospective witnesses and their lawyers share with prosecutors an interest in keeping hidden the subtle pas de deux - innocuously dubbed "plea discussions" or "immunity negotiations" - that results in the intermediate target's agreement to become a witness.
The standard training manual on witness interviewing distributed to all police officers in England and Wales also includes a section on how to conduct a cognitive interview.
Despite the defense's strenuous objections, Bloch was permitted to testify as an expert witness.
The attorney had spent hours in pre-trial conference with this witness, and he was pleased with his witness's testimony.
According to Jehovah's Witness doctrine, being "disfellowshipped" means that we have been found guilty of unrepentant gross misconduct.
If you want your witness to establish eye contact with the jury, walk over to the jurors and stand close to them, so that they are positioned between you and the witness.
The author addresses how officers and other witnesses are discredited; how the identification of prejudice or bias on the part of a witness surfaces; and what constitutes poor memory situations by a witness.
The panel also recommended the creation of a Witness Protection Unit in the Sheriff's Department and a standing multiagency subcommittee of the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee to address witness protection issues.