Definition of first-hand in English:


adverb & adjective

  • (of information or experience) from the original source or personal experience; direct.

    as adjective ‘first-hand accounts of activities behind the enemy lines’
    as adverb ‘data which is obtained first-hand from customers’
    • ‘At their best, they provide an authentic new source of first-hand information.’
    • ‘Having knowledge and first-hand experience can really feed that imagination.’
    • ‘He heard a range of first-hand accounts of people's experiences of crime.’
    • ‘He has captured the first-hand accounts of many people whose stories would probably otherwise have been lost to us.’
    • ‘He was also able to draw on first-hand knowledge of the caprices of the writing life.’
    • ‘Victims of stalking have first-hand knowledge of various techniques that can be used to terrorise or control others.’
    • ‘An increasing number of Australians understand this from first-hand experience.’
    • ‘The idea, clearly, is to make it easy for students to see the first-hand evidence of textual problems for themselves.’
    • ‘Journalists from all over China have gone to the small town to get first-hand information about the case.’
    • ‘Apart from military personnel, it is only our oldest generation that has had first-hand experience of life in a war zone.’
    • ‘Numerous poets and playwrights had first-hand experience of the wars.’
    • ‘When someone comes along with first-hand knowledge of the topic in hand it just confuses everyone.’
    • ‘How can anyone objectively criticise an event without having first-hand knowledge of it?’
    • ‘That being said, I still think the best marketing stories come from personal, first-hand experience.’
    • ‘Poets who perform their work involve themselves in a first-hand experience.’
    • ‘His thorough and first-hand knowledge of war could be seen clearly in these short stories.’
    • ‘Probably not people who have my first-hand experience of a similar situation.’
    • ‘I also have first-hand experience of the repercussions that follow when you make a stand against sectarianism.’
    direct, immediate, personal, unmediated, hands-on, experiential, empirical, from the original source
    directly, immediately, personally, at first hand, from the original source, with one's own ears, with one's own eyes
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  • at first hand

    • Directly or from personal experience.

      ‘scientists observed the process at first hand’
      • ‘I can recount endless examples that I have experienced at first hand.’
      • ‘He had experienced this at first hand, from his own brother.’
      • ‘They are the ones, after all, with most experience of nature at first hand, and their views deserve to be listened to.’
      • ‘It is felt that the Mobile Farm is the answer as it allows children to experience farm animals at first hand.’
      • ‘Four Laois men will hope to see at first hand what people in Ethiopia experience in their daily struggle to survive.’
      directly, immediately, personally, at first hand, from the original source, with one's own ears, with one's own eyes
      View synonyms