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hearsay

[heer-sey] /ˈhɪərˌseɪ/
noun
1.
unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge:
I pay no attention to hearsay.
2.
an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor:
a malicious hearsay.
adjective
3.
of, pertaining to, or characterized by hearsay:
hearsay knowledge; a hearsay report.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; orig. in phrase by hear say, translation of Middle French par ouïr dire
Synonyms
1. talk, scuttlebutt, babble, tittle-tattle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hear say

hearsay

/ˈhɪəˌseɪ/
noun
1.
gossip; rumour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hear say

hearsay

n.

1530s, perhaps mid-15c., from phrase to hear say.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hear say in Culture

hearsay definition


Information heard by one person about another. Hearsay is generally inadmissible as evidence in a court of law because it is based on the reports of others rather than on the personal knowledge of a witness.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for hear say

hearsay

in Anglo-American law, testimony that consists of what the witness has heard others say. United States and English courts may refuse to admit testimony that depends for its value upon the truthfulness and accuracy of one who is neither under oath nor available for cross-examination. The rule is subject, however, to many exceptions. In continental European law, where there is no jury to be protected from misleading testimony, judges may consider any evidence that they consider pertinent to reaching a decision. See also circumstantial evidence.

Learn more about hearsay with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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