Hearsay meaning

hîrsā
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.

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Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.
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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.
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Something one has heard but does not know to be true; rumor; gossip.
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Based on hearsay.
adjective
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An out of court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted. Testimony of a witness as to statements made by another individual who is not present in the courtroom to testify; generally not admissible because of unreliability (the hearsay rule), but there have been many significant exceptions to the rule, where there are certain indicia of reliability. See also excited utterance.
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Information that was heard by one person about another.
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(law) Evidence based on the reports of others rather than on personal knowledge; normally inadmissible because not made under oath.
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(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.
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Origin of hearsay

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

    From Wiktionary