Disclosed is a magnetic rotary encoder used in combination with a rotary body having plural pieces of magnetic information recorded on at least one circumferentially running track. The rotary encoder comprises a substrate having a surface disposed opposite to the rotary body and at least one magnetoresistive element formed on the surface of the substrate. The magnetoresistive element is formed on the substrate surface as an integral pattern including at least two portions extending substantially in the radial direction of the rotary body in a relation opposite to the magnetic information recorded portion of the rotary body, two lead connection terminal portions formed at the outer ends of the radially extending portions respectively, and a circumferentially extending portion interconnecting the radially extending portions at their ends, so as to form a single electrical signal path which passes both of the radially extending portions and terminates in the two lead connection terminal portions. These lead connection terminal portions are disposed outside of the outer peripheral edge of the rotary body.
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