ear


1ear

noun \ˈir\

Definition of EAR

1
a :  the characteristic vertebrate organ of hearing and equilibrium consisting in the typical mammal of a sound-collecting outer ear separated by the tympanic membrane from a sound-transmitting middle ear that in turn is separated from a sensory inner ear by membranous fenestrae
b :  any of various organs (as of a fish) capable of detecting vibratory motion
2
:  the external ear of humans and most mammals
3
a :  the sense or act of hearing
b :  acuity of hearing
c :  sensitivity to musical tone and pitch; also :  the ability to retain and reproduce music that has been heard
d :  sensitivity to nuances of language especially as revealed in the command of verbal melody and rhythm or in the ability to render a spoken idiom accurately
4
:  something resembling a mammalian ear in shape, position, or function: as
a :  a projecting part (as a lug or handle)
b :  either of a pair of tufts of lengthened feathers on the head of some birds
5
:  attention, awareness <lend an ear>
6
:  a space in the upper corner of the front page of a periodical (as a newspaper) usually containing advertising for the periodical itself or a weather forecast
7
:  a person who listens :  listener <looking for a friendly ear>
all ears
:  eagerly listening <if anybody spoke of that grisly matter, I was all ears … and alert to hear what might be said — Mark Twain>
by ear
:  without reference to or memorization of written music <plays by ear>
in one ear and out the other
:  through one's mind without making an impression <everything you say to him goes in one ear and out the other>
on one's ear
:  in or into a state of irritation, shock, or discord <set the racing world on its ear by breaking the record>
up to one's ears
:  deeply involved :  heavily implicated <up to his ears in shady deals>

Illustration of EAR

Origin of EAR

Middle English ere, from Old English ēare; akin to Old High German ōra ear, Latin auris, Greek ous
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Anatomy Terms

bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral

2ear

noun

Definition of EAR

:  the fruiting spike of a cereal (as wheat or Indian corn) including both the seeds and protective structures

Origin of EAR

Middle English er, from Old English ēar; akin to Old High German ahir ear, Old English ecg edge — more at edge
First Known Use: before 12th century

3ear

verb

Definition of EAR

intransitive verb
:  to form ears in growing <the rye should be earing up>

First Known Use of EAR

14th century

ear

noun \ˈi(ə)r\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of EAR

1
: the characteristic vertebrate organ of hearing and equilibrium consisting in the typical mammal of a sound-collecting outer ear separated by the tympanic membrane from a sound-transmitting middle ear that in turn is separated from a sensory inner ear by membranous fenestrae
2
a : the external ear of humans and most mammals b : a human earlobe <had her ears pierced>
3
a : the sense or act of hearing b : acuity of hearing

Illustration of EAR

ear

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Structures of the human ear. The cartilaginous auricle and the auditory canal of the outer ear …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Organ of hearing and balance. The outer ear directs sound vibrations through the auditory canal to the eardrum, which is stretched across the end of the auditory canal and which transmits sound vibrations to the middle ear. There a chain of three tiny bones conducts the vibrations to the inner ear. Fluid inside the cochlea of the inner ear stimulates sensory hairs; these in turn initiate the nerve impulses that travel along the auditory nerve to the brain. The inner ear is also an organ of balance: the sensation of dizziness that is felt after spinning is caused when fluid inside the inner ear's semicircular canals continues to move and stimulate sensory hairs after the body has come to rest. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasal passages; that connection allows the common cold to spread from the nasal passages to the middle ear, especially in infants and small children. The most common cause of hearing loss is otosclerosis, a surgically correctable disease in which one of the bones of the middle ear loses its capacity to vibrate. See also deafness, otitis.

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