hear·​say | \ ˈhir-ˌsā How to pronounce hearsay (audio) \

Definition of hearsay

1 : rumor like the hearsays bandied about by the medievalists— S. N. Behrman

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Examples of hearsay in a Sentence

You can't judge them solely on the basis of hearsay. They're supposedly getting married soon, but that's just hearsay.
Recent Examples on the Web In early 2019, a lot of hearsay circulated about Ellen DeGeneres possibly walking away from her daytime talk show. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's What We Know About Ellen DeGeneres Show Cancellation Rumors," 29 July 2020 Various gaming insiders in Japan have translated and hyped the story in a chainlink of mostly hearsay, but the crux of the idea is to use arcade game hardware to form a cloud during each machine’s relative downtime. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Sega's Bizarre Plan: Use Idle Arcade Cabinets to Stream Games to Homes," 5 June 2020 But just like with all the hearsay that's been going around, Diddy and Lori will likely brush this off, too. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Masked Singer' Host Nick Cannon Just Spoke Out About Lori Harvey and Diddy's Relationship," 29 Aug. 2019 After Kenny's death, Marianne told Closer Weekly that all the romance hearsay didn't bother her at all while she was married to the country artist. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Once Addressed Rumors That They Were More Than Friends," 14 Apr. 2020 Wednesday’s testimony reflected hearsay and second- and third-hand information. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Schiff’s Impeachment Show Is Off to a Shaky Start," 15 Nov. 2019 Chances are, Steve and Marjorie will stay silent on the hearsay and instead focus on their continued travels around the world. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Steve Harvey Lays Down the "Truth” About His Marriage on His Wife Marjorie’s Instagram," 16 Aug. 2019 Yet the generation that knows Jim Crow America only from hearsay ought to know what Belafonte explicates in this aggrieved, damaged, nonpareil persona. Armond White, National Review, "Kansas City: Belafonte’s Greatest Political Lecture on Film," 11 Mar. 2020 And unlike some of the witnesses who testified in the House impeachment inquiry, who were berated as low-level career officials repeating hearsay, Bolton would be difficult to dismiss. Time, "Bolton’s Offer to Give Impeachment Testimony Catches Congress, White House By Surprise," 6 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hearsay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hearsay

circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hearsay

Time Traveler

The first known use of hearsay was circa 1532

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Statistics for hearsay

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hearsay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hearsay. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for hearsay


How to pronounce hearsay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hearsay

: something heard from another person : something that you have been told


hear·​say | \ ˈhir-ˌsā How to pronounce hearsay (audio) \

Kids Definition of hearsay

: something heard from another : rumor “Is there any clear proof of this … or is it mere hearsay?”— Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill


hear·​say | \ ˈhir-ˌsā How to pronounce hearsay (audio) \

Legal Definition of hearsay

: 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

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