Firsthand (first-hand, first hand)

Also:

At firsthand
Firsthand information
Firsthand account
Firsthand knowledge
Firsthand evidence

Meaning of Idiom ‘Firsthand’ or ‘Firsthand Information’

Firsthand information is informaton is information that comes directly from the source or origin, without any intermediary source. 1Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. ,3Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.

Compare secondhand.

Usage

When we say something is firsthand we mean that it is information, knowledge, or an account that comes directly from the person most involved or, in other words, the person who is in the best position to know without any other person or entity acting as an intermediate source or intervening in our obtaining the information. Many different uses are possible.

Here are some typical constructions:

“I know this firsthand.”
“Is this firsthand?”
“I have firsthand information about this.”
“The following is a firsthand account of what happened.:
“I do not have firsthand knowledge of the incident.”
“You need to get firsthand evidence.”
“I always like to get the latest developments at firsthand.”

Examples Of Use

“How do you know that Gail made a scene at the party? I heard it firsthand from Greg – it was his party!”

“The reporter was able to obtain firsthand information about the inside workings of the investigation.”

“Listen, until you get firsthand evidence of any wrongdoing, I don’t want to hear anything more about this.”

Origin

Used since the first half of the 1700s. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.
2, 4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
3. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.