au·​di·​ence | \ ˈȯ-dē-ən(t)s How to pronounce audience (audio) , ˈä- \

Definition of audience

1a : 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
3a : 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.

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Examples of audience in a Sentence

The concert attracted a large audience. The audience clapped and cheered. Her audience is made up mostly of young women.
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Recent Examples on the Web Rosalía brought Spanish-language songs to a wider audience and, likewise, Pongo eschews English and raps largely in Portuguese and in Kimbundu, a language spoken in Angola. Kate Hutchinson, New York Times, "Pongo Turns Her Struggles Into Pop," 17 Feb. 2020 The Gulf War was invisible to American or French audiences, in other words, not only despite its visibility but because of it. Eli Jelly-schapiro, The New York Review of Books, "The Art of Neverending Wars," 15 Feb. 2020 The group was escorted to the front of the audience, in their own section close enough to reach out and touch the musicians on stage. Madeline Mitchell,, "Kiss star Paul Stanley 'rolled out the red carpet' for Covington business owners," 14 Feb. 2020 But the lack of oversight and clear rules around influencer marketing, not to mention their effectiveness in reaching younger audiences, makes them ripe for misuse. CBS News, "Facebook changes ad policy after Bloomberg hired influencers," 14 Feb. 2020 By the end, the dancers had invaded the audience, which was seated at an array of small cabaret tables. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Fashion Week celebrated what it means to dream — culminating in this one moving Marc Jacobs moment," 13 Feb. 2020 Noting that dozens of vape shop owners opposed to HB 32 were in the audience, Jason Underwood — a lobbyist for the Kentucky Smoke Free Association — told legislators the bill would not curtail youth vaping. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky House committee advances bill to increase taxes on vaping, tobacco products," 11 Feb. 2020 While Tom's comment about the way Colin looks with his shirt off earned plenty of laughs from the live audience, viewers at home were totally thrown off. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Tom Hanks Shocked Everyone When He Threw Out a Public 'Insult' at the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2020 The Black News Channel, the first 24-hour news channel aimed specifically at an African American audience, is set to launch on Feb. 10 to coincide with Black History Month. NBC News, "First 24-hour news channel "by and for" African Americans set to launch during Black History Month," 10 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of audience

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for audience

Middle English, "hearing, group of listeners, assembly, council," borrowed from Anglo-French, "hearing, group of listeners," borrowed from Latin audientia "act of listening, group of listeners," noun derivative of audient-, audiens, present participle of audīre "to hear" — more at audible entry 1

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Time Traveler for audience

Time Traveler

The first known use of audience was in the 14th century

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Statistics for audience

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Audience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for audience


How to pronounce audience (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of audience

: 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


au·​di·​ence | \ ˈȯ-dē-əns How to pronounce audience (audio) \

Kids Definition of audience

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.

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