Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.
  • noun Law Evidence that is not within the personal knowledge of a witness, such as testimony regarding statements made by someone other than the witness, and that therefore may be inadmissible to establish the truth of a particular contention because the accuracy of the evidence cannot be verified through cross-examination.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Information communicated by another; report; common talk; rumor; gossip.
  • Of or pertaining to or depending upon hearsay, or the talk of others; told or given at second hand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Report; rumor; fame; common talk; something heard from another.
  • noun (Law) that species of testimony which consists in a narration by one person of matters told him by another. It is, with a few exceptions, inadmissible as testimony.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun information that was heard by one person about another
  • noun law evidence based on the reports of others rather than on personal knowledge; normally inadmissible because not made under oath
  • noun law evidence: an out-of-court statement offered in court for the truth of the matter asserted; normally inadmissible because not subject to cross-examination, unless the hearsay statement falls under one of the many exceptions

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective heard through another rather than directly
  • noun gossip (usually a mixture of truth and untruth) passed around by word of mouth

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1525–35; from phrase by hear say, translation of Middle French par ouïr dire.

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