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hearsay

[heer-sey]
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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.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characterized by hearsay: hearsay knowledge; a hearsay report.
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Origin of hearsay

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

Synonyms for hearsay

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hearsay

gossip, comment, noise, grapevine, leak, cry, rumble, scuttlebutt, rumor, report, scandal, talk, clothesline

Examples from the Web for hearsay

Contemporary Examples of hearsay

Historical Examples of hearsay

  • There is no religion in the world that has any other basis than hearsay evidence.

  • Remember, gentlemen, I speak only from hearsay; of myself I know nothing.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • Remember, my dear madam, all I have been telling you reached myself as hearsay.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • I had no doubt that the man knew of her being there; but he only knew it by hearsay.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

  • For him it was purely a matter of hearsay which could not in itself cause this emotion.

    Victory

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for hearsay

hearsay

noun
  1. gossip; rumour
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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

Word Origin and History for hearsay

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hearsay in Culture

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.

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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.