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 audition (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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Times reported that Schwarzman had attempted a similar self-audition once before and received a warning to stay away. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: California’s fire prevention plan," 9 Apr. 2021 Claudia Conway digs into her past for 'American Idol' audition. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "'American Idol' singer debuts eye patch after surgery, Katharine McPhee returns for emotional duet," 5 Apr. 2021 Christian Djoos, who returned to the lineup when Dennis Cholowski’s audition ended after two games, earned his second assist in two games on the play. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings sweep Columbus Blue Jackets in weekend series with 4-1 victory," 28 Mar. 2021 After plans to record the song with former tour mate Lauren Alaina fell through due to scheduling conflicts, the country singer, 35, decided to hold a blind audition for female vocalists to submit themselves for the part. Brianne Tracy, PEOPLE.com, "Go Behind-the-Scenes of Dustin Lynch and MacKenzie Porter's New 'Thinking 'Bout You' Music Video," 25 Mar. 2021 The talk show host scored Ainae on her team, which officially closed out the season 20 blind audition round. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The Voice' Star Blake Shelton Accused Kelly Clarkson of Getting Adam Levine Fired From the Show," 25 Mar. 2021 Kyoo Eom’s August audition for his future employer ended with an invitation to head up the kitchen at this grand dame in the shadow of Georgetown University. Washington Post, "Tom Sietsema’s 8 favorite places to eat right now," 23 Mar. 2021 Madison musician Raine Stern aces blind audition on 'The Voice' season premiere Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or plevy@journalsentinel.com. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'I want her to be ok': Milwaukee native Ronda Felton's singing partner collapses on 'American Idol'," 22 Mar. 2021 Between the judges’ audition and Hollywood Week, McGhar spent time searching for songs that would showcase her voice and performing for just about anyone who would listen. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Alabama teen tackles Hollywood Week on ‘American Idol’: ‘I knew what I signed up for’," 21 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While recording his debut album, Quindon, he was asked to audition for Romeo + Juliet. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Quindon Tarver, child singer in ‘Romeo + Juliet,’ dead at 38," 6 Apr. 2021 The Republicans who want to be Ohio's next U.S. Senator flew to Florida this week to audition for former President Donald Trump, Politico reported Thursday. Carl Weiser, The Enquirer, "Politico: Ohio's GOP U.S. Senate candidates flew to Florida to audition for Trump," 25 Mar. 2021 After coming home, Survivor gave me the confidence to follow my dreams to audition, leading me to movies, commercials, modeling, and even obtaining SAG status. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Papa Bear still wanted to vote people out after returning home," 26 Mar. 2021 She was then invited to Ojai, California, to audition in person in front of the judges. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Northern Kentucky University freshman hopes to be the next 'American Idol'," 3 Mar. 2021 On Sunday, Alyssa Wray, from Perryville, Kentucky will audition in front of the all-star judging panel, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Northern Kentucky University freshman hopes to be the next 'American Idol'," 3 Mar. 2021 Most large brokerages, meanwhile, were telling their agents not to audition, thinking the show would look déclassé. Andrew Rice, Curbed, "The Gut Renovation of Ryan Serhant," 18 Feb. 2021 However, after seeing the school’s improv group, Yeun decided to audition and, after being rejected the first year, got in. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "‘Walking Dead’ Actor Steven Yeun on His ‘Minari’ Breakout," 11 Jan. 2021 The 17-year-old newcomer was one of 30,000 people to audition for Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "13 Covers of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’ That Will Make You Feel Things," 15 Dec. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for audition

Time Traveler

The first known use of audition was in 1599

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Statistics for audition

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Audition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/audition. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for audition

audition

noun

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

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Comments on audition

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