follow Dictionary.com

Submit your word to be a Word of the Day!

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for hearsay
  • The nation's military lawyers disagree, saying that even in wartime, there are plenty of ways to avoid flat-out hearsay.
  • hearsay evidence, for instance, is admissible in court.
  • The problem was that her testimony had already been deemed inadmissible hearsay.
  • Dozens of people are convicted each year, though hearsay is often used as evidence and accusers invent verbal transgressions.
  • Please fill up the comments below with hearsay and conjecture and rumor.
  • Prosecutors had argued that the witness's testimony would be inadmissible under the hearsay rule.
  • It has to be said that those dark reputations were largely based on hearsay.
  • Her statements about what happened may be true or they may be false, but they are certainly not hearsay.
  • Ask people for comment before printing claims about them or attributing hearsay to them.
  • Touting hearsay from others does not qualify as fact.
British Dictionary definitions for hearsay

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hearsay
n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
hearsay 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.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for 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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hearsay

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hearsay

13
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with hearsay

Nearby words for hearsay