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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Synonyms for audience


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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 There was a satellite simulcast of an audience watching in Japan. Abraham Riesman, Vulture, "Stan Lee and the Dot-Com Disaster," 12 Feb. 2021 Collins wasn't daunted by a lack of audience on her recent return to The Town Hall. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Folk activist Judy Collins revisits her first live album," 9 Feb. 2021 Super Bowl was the size of the live audience: the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa was only one-third full. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Super Bowl Music: The Weeknd’s Self-Loathing, Springsteen’s Jeep, and Dolly Parton’s Gig Economy," 8 Feb. 2021 The safety of the audience is another consideration that has been factored into plans for the concerts. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Symphony returns to the stage Friday after almost a year off because of coronavirus pandemic," 2 Feb. 2021 On cable, every channel needed to find its own slice of the audience. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Liberal Media Scream: New high in CNN bias, blames GOP for ‘divided America’," 1 Feb. 2021 The author, dubbed Lady Whistledown, spills all the tea to the shock of the upper class and the glee of the audience. Lauren Hill,, "What we’re watching: From ‘Walker’ reboot to Brit hit ‘The Sister’," 22 Jan. 2021 In her roles since then, Thompson has attempted to balance being the woman of an audience’s dreams with living a life of her own. Roxane Gay, Town & Country, "The Talented Tessa Thompson," 15 Jan. 2021 Since then, the court has added plexiglass partitions to some jury boxes, and court officials also plan to space jurors out within the box, as well as into parts of the audience. Washington Post, "Jury trials to resume in D.C. Superior Court on March 22, court officials say," 15 Jan. 2021

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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Audience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for audience



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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