audition

noun
au·​di·​tion | \ ȯ-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce audition (audio) \

Definition of audition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the power or sense of hearing
2 : the act of hearing especially : a critical hearing an audition of new recordings
3 : a trial performance to appraise an entertainer's merits

audition

verb
auditioned; auditioning\ ȯ-​ˈdi-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce auditioning (audio) \

Definition of audition (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to test or try out especially in an audition

intransitive verb

: to give a trial performance

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Noun

Today, "audition" most often refers to a theatrical tryout, but that wasn't always the case. "Audition" is rooted in the Latin verb audire, meaning "to hear," and was first used in the late 16th century to refer to the power or sense of hearing. "Audire" is also the root of such "hearing" words in English as "audible," "audience" (which first meant "the act or state of hearing"), and the prefix audio-, which appears in various words relating to sound. It wasn't until late 19th century that the noun "audition" began being used for an entertainer's trial performance. And the verb audition, meaning "to test or try out in an audition," didn't appear on the English language stage until the mid-20th century.

Examples of audition in a Sentence

Verb When he came in to audition, he was very charming. They auditioned several girls for the role. We will audition dancers today.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But there won’t be an audition on this stage, just a look at what might have been, especially if Adams has a disruptive game. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Jamal Adams could be the latest Seahawks safety to show Cowboys what they’re missing," 26 Sep. 2020 López ended his season and his first audition for a spot in the Orioles' 2021 rotation by allowing eight runs in two innings in Friday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles think they could have long-term rotation piece in Jorge López. He wants another chance to prove them right.," 26 Sep. 2020 Soon after meeting during his audition, Ripa and Consuelos quickly (and quietly) started dating and didn't take their relationship public until the following year at the 1996 Soap Opera Digest Awards. Christy Piña, Woman's Day, "Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos' Relationship Is a Total Fairytale," 24 Sep. 2020 Her smile blooms when the conversation turns to her grueling audition and the intense three months of physical preparation Mulan required. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "One-Woman Army: Yifei Liu talks fighting her own battles in Mulan," 3 Sep. 2020 After America's Got Talent on Tuesday night, all anyone could talk about was Sheldon Riley's hauntingly beautiful audition. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT' Fans Reveal a Surprising Detail About Sheldon Riley’s Past on Twitter," 19 July 2020 Applications, with an online video audition, are due by Sunday, Oct. 11. Staff Report, NOLA.com, "Teachers and alums are honored at Chapelle and Brother Martin, and other metro-area school news," 30 Sep. 2020 The prize was a trip to New York City and a record-company audition there. New York Times, "Helen Reddy Dies at 78; Sang ‘I Am Woman’," 29 Sep. 2020 Jannakos performed a blind audition on NBC's The Voice in spring 2019 and has built a robust following on social media. Xander Zellner, Billboard, "Andrew Jannakos Debuts at No. 1 on Emerging Artists Chart," 23 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now, around three-quarters of his clients are asking him to audition families and people who live together due to production limits and safety requirements. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "How to Make an Ad During Covid: Bribe Your Family Members to Appear," 15 Oct. 2020 Peale’s advice about conquering fear gave me courage to audition for a solo in the school musical — and then to sing it, shaking like a leaf, in front of the entire student body. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Jana Riess: Trump’s twisted interpretation of ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ is killing Americans," 21 Sep. 2020 And since the record company brass had already seen her on the TV show, and seeing as how no one was interested in female singers anyway, there was really no need to audition, either. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: New Helen Reddy biopic is timely, watchable and frustrating," 11 Sep. 2020 Never in a million years would some of those OG’s have jumped on a plane and flown across the country with their kids to audition for a TV show... Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Abby Lee Miller Just Claimed “Dance Mom” Alums “Can’t Seem To Even Remember The Name of the Show They Were On”," 9 Sep. 2020 When Mars One opened applications in 2013, people flocked to audition to die on Mars after a one-way trip and a lifetime of settlement. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk Says Settlers Will Likely Die on Mars. He's Right.," 2 Sep. 2020 The group’s president, Jay Ruderman, has asked all the major U.S. media companies to pledge to audition and cast more performers with disabilities. Gerry Smith, Bloomberg.com, "Hollywood’s Diversity Push Has Left Out One Important Group," 28 Aug. 2020 Kole first came to New Orleans in 1957 to audition as part of a jazz trio. Dominic Massa, NOLA.com, "Ronnie Kole, renowned New Orleans pianist who performed for 6 presidents and a pope, dead at 89," 28 Aug. 2020 Northwest alt-folkie Pete Droge was invited to audition to be a member of the onscreen Stillwater band. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "‘Almost Famous’ at 20: Ranking every song from beloved rock film," 18 Aug. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of audition

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1931, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for audition

Noun

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin audītiōn-, audītiō "act of hearing, report, rumor," from audīre "to hear" + -tiōn- -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at audible entry 1

Verb

derivative of audition entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about audition

Time Traveler for audition

Time Traveler

The first known use of audition was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about audition

Statistics for audition

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Audition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/audition. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for audition

audition

noun
How to pronounce audition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of audition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short performance to show the talents of someone (such as an actor or a musician) who is being considered for a role in a play, a position in an orchestra, etc.

audition

verb

English Language Learners Definition of audition (Entry 2 of 2)

of a performer : to try out for a role in a play or film, a position in an orchestra, etc. : to perform in an audition
: to test (someone) in an audition

audition

noun
au·​di·​tion | \ ȯ-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce audition (audio) \

Kids Definition of audition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short performance to test the talents of someone (as a singer, dancer, or actor)

audition

verb
auditioned; auditioning

Kids Definition of audition (Entry 2 of 2)

: to test or try out in a short performance He auditioned for a part in the play. They auditioned her for the lead role.

audition

noun
au·​di·​tion | \ ȯ-ˈdish-ən How to pronounce audition (audio) \

Medical Definition of audition

1 : the power or sense of hearing
2 : the act of hearing

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on audition

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!