Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

listen

play
verb lis·ten \ˈli-sən\

Simple Definition of listen

  • : to pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said, sung, played, etc.

  • —used to tell a person to listen to what you are saying

  • : to hear what someone has said and understand that it is serious, important, or true

Full Definition of listen

lis·tenedlis·ten·ing play \ˈlis-niŋ, ˈli-sən-iŋ\

archaic

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to give ear to :  hear

  3. intransitive verb
  4. 1 :  to pay attention to sound <listen to music>

  5. 2 :  to hear something with thoughtful attention :  give consideration <listen to a plea>

  6. 3 :  to be alert to catch an expected sound <listen for his step>

lis·ten·er play \ˈlis-nər, ˈli-sən-ər\ noun

Examples of listen

  1. I listened as hard as I could, but I couldn't hear a word of what he said over all that noise.

  2. She listened with interest as he told her about his travels.

  3. She tried to warn him of the dangers, but he wouldn't listen.



Origin of listen

Middle English listnen, from Old English hlysnan; akin to Sanskrit śroṣati he hears, Old English hlūd loud


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with listen


2

listen

noun lis·ten

Simple Definition of listen

  • : the act of listening to something

Full Definition of listen

  1. :  an act of listening

1788

First Known Use of listen

1788




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up listen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet pince-nez kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ