- The definition of hearsay is something heard, but not known to be a fact.
An example of hearsay is when a friend told you about a couple breaking up, but you don't know if it is true.
Origin of hearsay; from phrase to hear say, parallel to German hörensagen
- Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.
- 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.
(usually uncountable, plural hearsays)
- information that was heard by one person about another
- (law) evidence based on the reports of others rather than on personal knowledge; normally inadmissible because not made under oath
- (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
1525–35; from phrase by hear say, translation of Middle French par ouïr dire.
hearsay - Legal Definition