Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

EYE-WITNESS. One who saw the act or fact to which he testifies. When an eye- witness testifies, and is a man of intelligence and integrity, much reliance must be placed on his testimony, for he has the means of making known the truth.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
Say how odd it appears to you that a man fallen to such a depth of humiliation as I, can ever have been the actual eye-witness of great events.
I tell you I was the eye-witness of the nightly sorrow and groanings of the great man, and of that no one can speak but myself.
As to the evidence of eye-witnesses, in these days people prefer impudent lies to the stories of men of worth and long service.
I cannot suppose that she expected to convince you, the eye-witness; but if she wished later on to spread the story, it was wise of her to try to get your acceptance of it."
If the same multitude which had stood as eye-witnesses while Hester Prynne sustained her punishment could now have been summoned forth, they would have discerned no face above the platform nor hardly the outline of a human shape, in the dark grey of the midnight.
"One moment -- I beg -- for here are the Chevalier d'Herblay and the Comte de la Fere, just arrived from London, and they can give you, as eye-witnesses, such details as you can convey to the queen, my royal sister.
The noble and free citizens of Epidaphne being, as they declare, well satisfied of the faith, valor, wisdom, and divinity of their king, and having, moreover, been eye-witnesses of his late superhuman agility, do think it no more than their duty to invest his brows (in addition to the poetic crown) with the wreath of victory in the footrace -- a wreath which it is evident he must obtain at the celebration of the next Olympiad, and which, therefore, they now give him in advance.
Recollect as well as you can, and tell me, as near as possible, the very words he used."--"Why, sir, Mr Blifil sent me to find out the persons who were eye-witnesses of this fight.
Your neighbors have been eye-witnesses to whatever has passed in the garden.
Chief Justice said that Waheed Ahmed is eye-witness of the murder of Zainab and Saeed Ahmed, saying that Waheed Ahmed did not get an FIR registered regarding murder of his real brother nor he offered funeral prayer of his deceased brother.
KARACHI -- Accused of Karachi's Baldia garments factory fire were first got doped and then burned fire in the factory, said eye-witness Arshad in his statement recorded in an Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi on Tuesday.
An eye-witness alleged that Ramzan also attempted to torch his wife, but she saved her life by taking shelter in a neighbor's house.