hear·say /'hir-ˌsā/ n: a statement made out of court and not under oath which is offered as proof that what is stated is true – called also hearsay evidence;

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun auditio, evidence from impersonal knowledge, gossip, groundless rumor, indirect evidence, popular report, report, rumor, secondary evidence, secondhand evidence, unconfirmed account, unconfirmed report, unverified comments, unverified news associated concepts: admission, ancient writings, business records, declarations against pecuniary interest, declarations against penal interest, dying declarations, exceptions to hearsay rules, hearsay evidence, records of past recollection, reputation as to pedigree, res gestae, spontaneous declarations II index report (rumor)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A report made by a witness of something that another person said or communicated nonverbally, usually not admissible as evidence.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

that part of the law of evidence that is concerned with evidence, usually testimony, which refers to statements made other than by a witness giving evidence in court. 'Statement' is often considered to comprise actings or writings. As a general rule it is inadmissible as establishing the fact in question but may be admissible (admissibility) where it is sought to establish that the statement was made, e.g. 'I heard a man shout, "Look out!" as the pedestrian walked in front of the car.' The rules are among the most technical and important in the law, and what follows can be only an attempt to indicate the main themes. Naturally, legal systems differ on the detail, but the general approach is broadly similar in many Anglo-American systems.
There follows an indication of the principal exceptions to the hearsay rule:
(1) a statement will be admissible if it refers to the res gestae, i.e. matters that are so closely linked to the alleged offence in terms of place, time and circumstances as to form a single event, e.g. 'I heard a passer-by shout, "Look out! that pedestrian is about to commit suicide."' The House of Lords in R. Andrew [1987] AC 281 has accepted a wider test that 'hearsay evidence may be admitted if the statement providing it is made in such conditions (always being those of approximate but not exact contemporaneity) of involvement or pressure as to exclude the possibility of concoction or distortion to the advantage of the maker or the disadvantage of the accused.'
(2) the evidence of deceased persons is admissible in Scotland unless the circumstances raise some presumption that it does not reflect what was in his mind.
(3) in Scotland a statement in the presence of the accused is admissible if it is such a statement that he should reasonably repudiate it, although the general right to remain silent suggests that the accused should have been confronted directly with the statement.
(4) in both England and Scotland statute has provided considerable inroads to the rule in civil cases. Under the Civil Evidence Act 1968 in England, hearsay may be admitted. In Scotland under the Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988, evidence is not to be excluded solely on the ground that it is hearsay. Even hearsay of hearsay is admissible. It is for the court to judge what weight should be accorded to the statement.
(5) extra-judicial statements, i.e. statements made outside of judicial proceedings, are an important exception. In civil cases they are often called admissions and in criminal cases confessions. The confession or admission, even in Scotland, can be proved by one witness. In Scotland, in criminal causes, the material fact in question would require corroboration. In criminal cases the circumstances of the confession are subject to scrutiny under the exclusionary rule.
(6) in Scotland, a statement made by a complainer or victim shortly after the crime to a natural confidant can be admitted to establish the credibility of the victim. A greater latitude is allowed in cases of sexual offences.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

Testimony given by a witness who is not telling what he or she knows personally, but what others have said.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

A written or oral statement made otherwise than by a witness giving his own first-hand evidence in proceedings, which is tendered as evidence of the matters stated.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

n. 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.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A statement made out of court that is offered in court as evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A statement made out of court that is offered in court as evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
II Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. Hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence in court.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) second-hand evidence in which the witness is not telling what he/she knows personally, but what others have said to him/her.
   2) a common objection made by the opposing lawyer to testimony when it appears the witness has violated the hearsay rule.
   3) scuttlebutt or gossip.
   See also: hearsay rule

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hearsay — Hear say (h[=e]r s[=a] ), n. Report; rumor; fame; common talk; something heard from another. [1913 Webster] Much of the obloquy that has so long rested on the memory of our great national poet originated in frivolous hearsays of his life and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hearsay — [hir′sā΄] n. [< phrase to hear say, parallel to Ger hörensagen] something one has heard but does not know to be true; rumor; gossip adj. based on hearsay …   English World dictionary

  • hearsay — 1530s, perhaps mid 15c., from phrase to hear say …   Etymology dictionary

  • hearsay — n *report, rumor, gossip …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • hearsay — [n] unsubstantiated information clothesline*, comment, cry, gossip, grapevine*, leak*, mere talk*, noise*, report, rumble*, rumor, scandal, scuttlebutt*, talk, talk of the town*, word of mouth*; concepts 51,278 Ant. evidence, proof, reality,… …   New thesaurus

  • hearsay — ► NOUN ▪ information which cannot be adequately substantiated; rumour …   English terms dictionary

  • hearsay — A term applied to that species of testimony given by a witness who relates, not what he knows personally, but what others have told him, or what he has heard said by others. A statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at… …   Black's law dictionary

  • hearsay — A term applied to that species of testimony given by a witness who relates, not what he knows personally, but what others have told him, or what he has heard said by others. A statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at… …   Black's law dictionary

  • hearsay — noun VERB + HEARSAY ▪ be based on, rely on ▪ Her judgements are based on hearsay rather than evidence. HEARSAY + NOUN ▪ evidence PREPOSITION ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • Hearsay — Not to be confused with heresy. Hearsay is a legal term referring to the use of out of court statements as evidence.WorldwideUnited StatesUnless one of the many exceptions applies, hearsay is not allowed as evidence in the United States.England… …   Wikipedia

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