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 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.
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. 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.
See also: witness

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.
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 periodicals archive ?
Some individuals more than others-among both adults and children-tend to create scenes in their heads that seem real and accept others' subtle suggestions about what they might have witnessed, adds psychologist Rhonda N.
We tend to approach depositions too casually, failing to focus on the purpose of specific depositions, the suitability of various examination techniques, who should and should not be deposed, and whether a properly witnessed interview will provide adequate protection.
This swamp white oak, which today measures 15 feet around, witnessed some of the most desperate fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg.
This giant stands at the end of Burnside Bridge on Antietam battlefield in Maryland, where on September 17, 1862, it witnessed the bloodiest day in American history.
We decided to come out because we witnessed the cheating and were used to do it, said a witness who claimed to be an INC member.
Frequently, a witness in one cold case will have information about a second case involving the same subject or has witnessed a different homicide in the same neighborhood.