Hearsay


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Related to Hearsay: hearsay rule, hearsay evidence

Hearsay

Evidence gathered from a second-hand or even further removed source. That is, the person giving hearsay evidence did not witness or experience the evidence himself/herself. In many jurisdictions, hearsay evidence is not admissible in court, especially in criminal proceedings. There are, however, a number of exceptions to this rule, notably if the original witness is unavailable or dead.
References in classic literature ?
The movement is, properly speaking, a derivative from Nihilism--though they are only known indirectly, and by hearsay, for they never advertise their doings in the papers.
The interview was conducted laboriously upon both sides in French, and this, together with the fact that he was optimistic, and that Terence respected the medical profession from hearsay, made him less critical than he would have been had he encountered the doctor in any other capacity.
Yet those who approached Dorothea, though prejudiced against her by this alarming hearsay, found that she had a charm unaccountably reconcilable with it.
But I speak from hearsay no longer; I knew my mother for ever now.
As Ja had never been so far and knew only of Amoz through hearsay, we thought that he must be mistaken; but he was not.
It was as much a part of their education to put their faith in these on hearsay evidence, as to put their faith in King, Lords and Commons.
I was born yesterday, and my feet are soft and the ground beneath is rough; nevertheless, if you will have it so, I will swear a great oath by my father's head and vow that neither am I guilty myself, neither have I seen any other who stole your cows -- whatever cows may be; for I know them only by hearsay.
Where is the modern hermit who is not familiarly acquainted, by hearsay at least, with the fantastic novelty and humor of her opinions; with her generous encouragement of rising merit of any sort, in all ranks, high or low; with her charities, which know no distinction between abroad and at home; with her large indulgence, which no ingratitude can discourage, and no servility pervert?
A well-known poetical letter of the dramatist Francis Beaumont to Jonson celebrates the club meetings; and equally well known is a description given in the next generation from hearsay and inference by the antiquary Thomas Fuller: 'Many were the wit-combats betwixt Shakspere and Ben Jonson, which two I behold like a Spanish great galleon and an English man-of-war: Master Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in learning; solid, but slow in his performances; Shakespere, with the English man-of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about and take advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invention.
As I imagined, therefore, that the fellow must have inserted this of his own head, or from hearsay, I persuaded myself he might have ventured likewise on that odious line on no better authority.
I did not condemn him through hearsay or doubtful evidence, and that is why I made no charge.
That was when I was a child; I know about it from hearsay and tradition.