[ heer-sey ]
See synonyms for hearsay on Thesaurus.com
  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.

  1. of, relating to, or characterized by hearsay: hearsay knowledge;a hearsay report.

Origin of hearsay

First recorded in 1525–35; originally in phrase by hear say, calque of Middle French par ouïr dire

Other words for hearsay

Words Nearby hearsay

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hearsay in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hearsay


/ (ˈhɪəˌseɪ) /

  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

Cultural definitions for hearsay


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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.