witness

[OE] Witness originally meant ‘knowledge’ or ‘wisdom’; it was simply an abstract noun formed from wit. This was extended via ‘knowledge gained by observation’ to ‘testimony’ in the Old English period, and by the beginning of the Middle English period ‘person who gives testimony’ was well established. => WIT
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   The word was originally used of an abstract noun meaning 'knowledge,' 'wisdom.' It thus derives from Old English witnes, in which the first part represents witan, 'to know' (the source of modern wit), and the second corresponds to modern -ness, as in goodness. The present sense, referring to a person who bears witness, arose only in the 16th century.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

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  • witness — wit·ness 1 n [Old English witnes knowledge, testimony, witness, from wit mind, sense, knowledge] 1 a: attestation of a fact or event in witness whereof the parties have executed this release b: evidence (as of the authenticity of a conveyance by… …   Law dictionary

  • WITNESS — (Heb. עֵד, one that has personal knowledge of an event or a fact. The evidence of at least two witnesses was required for convicting the accused (Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15; cf. I Kings 21:10, 13). Commercial transactions of importance took… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Witness — Wit ness, n. [AS. witness, gewitnes, from witan to know. [root]133. See {Wit}, v. i.] [1913 Webster] 1. Attestation of a fact or an event; testimony. [1913 Webster] May we with . . . the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Witness — • One who is present, bears testimony, furnishes evidence or proof Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Witness     Witness     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Witness (cd) — Witness (album) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Witness (homonymie). Witness Album par Witness Sortie 1994 Enregistrement 1994 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • witness — [n] person who observes an event attestant, attestor, beholder, bystander, corroborator, deponent, eyewitness, gawker, looker on, observer, onlooker, proof, rubbernecker*, signatory, signer, spectator, testifier, testimony, viewer, watcher;… …   New thesaurus

  • Witness — Wit ness, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Witnessed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Witnessing}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To see or know by personal presence; to have direct cognizance of. [1913 Webster] This is but a faint sketch of the incalculable calamities and horrors we …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • witness — [wit′nis] n. [ME witnesse < OE (ge)witnes, witness, knowledge, testimony < witan, to know: see WISE1 & NESS] 1. an attesting of a fact, statement, etc.; evidence; testimony 2. a person who saw, or can give a firsthand account of, something… …   English World dictionary

  • witness to — ˈwitness to [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they witness to he/she/it witnesses to present participle witnessing to past tense witnessed to …   Useful english dictionary

  • Witness — Wit ness, v. i. To bear testimony; to give evidence; to testify. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] The men of Belial witnessed against him. 1 Kings xxi. 13. [1913 Webster] The witnessing of the truth was then so generally attended with this event… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Witness — Título Único testigo (España) Testigo en peligro (Hispanoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Peter Weir Producción Edward S. Feldman …   Wikipedia Español

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