first hand/first-hand


1. learn or experience something directly






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first-hand experience/account/knowledge

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This expression refers to knowledge or information that comes directly from personal observance or experience, rather than from an outside source. Information gleaned from outside sources, such as other people or through the internet, is classed as 'second(-)hand.' This term is common in both a social and professional context and is usually hyphenated to 'first-hand' when used as a modifier before a noun. Words with a similar meaning include 'direct' and 'empirical.'

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. I have the first-hand experience of how hard it can be to move to a new country. I lived in China for 2 years.
  2. My friend gave me a first-hand account of what was going on at the protest when she was there.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. The journalist tracked down a source who gave her first-hand information about corrupt practices within the organization.
  2. I was sent to visit the factory so that I could see first hand the issues they were facing.

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