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