noun au·di·ence \ ˈȯ-dē-ən(t)s , ˈä- \
Updated on: 22 Feb 2018

Definition of audience

1 a : a group of listeners or spectators
  • The concert attracted a large audience.
b : a reading, viewing, or listening public
  • The film is intended for a young audience.
2 : a group of ardent admirers or devotees
  • has developed an enthusiastic audience for his ideas
3 a : a formal hearing or interview
  • an audience with the pope
b : an opportunity of being heard
4 : the act or state of hearing
  • Give me audience and heed what I say.

Examples of audience in a Sentence

  1. The concert attracted a large audience.

  2. The audience clapped and cheered.

  3. Her audience is made up mostly of young women.

Recent Examples of audience from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of audience

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin audientia, from audient-, audiens, present participle of audire — see 1audible

audience Synonyms

Related Words



AUDIENCE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of audience for English Language Learners

  • : a group of people who gather together to listen to something (such as a concert) or watch something (such as a movie or play) : the people who attend a performance

  • : the people who watch, read, or listen to something

  • : a formal meeting with an important person

AUDIENCE Defined for Kids


noun au·di·ence \ ˈȯ-dē-əns \

Definition of audience for Students

1 : a group that listens or watches (as at a play or concert)
2 : a chance to talk with a person of very high rank
  • She was granted an audience with the queen.
3 : those people who give attention to something said, done, or written
  • Adventure stories appeal to a wide audience.

Word Root of audience

The Latin word audīre, meaning “to hear” or “to listen,” gives us the root aud. Words from the Latin audīre have to do with hearing. Anything audible is loud enough to be heard. An audience is a group of people who listen to or watch a performance. Anything auditory is related to the sense of hearing.

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