audition

noun
au·​di·​tion | \ ȯ-ˈdi-shən \

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\ -​ˈdi-​sh(ə-​)niŋ \

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

Not even a minute into the audition and all the judges were blown away. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT' Star Courtney Hadwin's Time on the Show Was More Controversial Than People Realize," 14 Jan. 2019 The auditions have already been filmed and Olly revealed that all of the judges turned their chair for a group of three. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Blind Auditions Are Changing in a Big Way," 6 Jan. 2019 News of the intense auditions taking place for the coveted son role leaked out. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Top Gun 2' flies in one year: What we know so far about Tom Cruise's 'Maverick'," 11 July 2018 Some actors may be invited for a callback and asked to memorize a portion of the script for the callback audition. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 15 May 2018 What ensued was a one-year consulting term—part courting period, part audition. Chloe Malle, WSJ, "How Designer Wes Gordon is Reimagining Carolina Herrera for the Next Generation," 6 Dec. 2018 The desire to hold auditions for 2019 will almost assuredly alter the rotation a time or two or more. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Eric Lauer keeps rolling in win over Dodgers," 10 July 2018 Then, the Bach Festival Society will hold choir auditions from 5-8 p.m. Monday, June 18, at Rollins College. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Like to sing? Bach Festival Society wants you," 7 June 2018 In spring 2005, the television producer Jeff Thacker went to Miami to hold auditions for a new reality dance competition. Brian Schaefer, New York Times, "But Is It Good for Dance? ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ at 15," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

What got you interested in auditioning for America's Got Talent rather than the various other singing competitions on TV? Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Brody Ray on His Emotional 'America's Got Talent' Audition: 'It Was So Validating for Me'," 29 June 2018 As was the song by Motian, whose band Cline auditioned for unsuccessfully in 1983. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "How Wilco guitarist Nels Cline remade his 'Lovers' especially for Philadelphia," 25 May 2018 Page Hamilton and Tommy Victor have known each other since 1989, the day Hamilton's band, Helmet, auditioned for a steady gig at the legendary (and now defunct) New York music venue CBGB. Timothy Finn, kansascity, "Hey metal fans: Prong and Helmet are touring together, finally | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 2018 Kulig plays Zula, a girl from the countryside who auditions for the Mazurek Ensemble, a troupe devoted to the performance of traditional folk music and, eventually, pro-Stalin propaganda. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Joanna Kulig, the Dazzling Star of Cold War, Is About to Have a Very Big Year," 10 Dec. 2018 But the musical comedy sketch parodying A Chorus Line, starring Kristin Chenoweth and O’Donnell as rival elves auditioning for a job for Santa, takes the whimsical cake of the evening. Liz Arcury, Marie Claire, "The 8 Best Celebrity Holiday Specials Ever," 29 Nov. 2018 Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, and Garth Brooks have all auditioned and played here—just to name a few. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "What It's Really Like to Go Behind the Scenes at the Bluebird Café," 17 June 2017 After a galaxy-spanning collective makes contact with Earth, glam-rocker Danesh Jalo of Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros is invited to audition on behalf of humanity to establish that humans are sentient. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The 13 best sci-fi books to check out on your new Kindle," 29 Dec. 2018 Jackson touts his versatility, ball handling, passing Scott Bordow, azcentral sports The Suns are done auditioning candidates for the No. 1 pick in the draft. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Suns GM Ryan McDonough open to trading No. 1 pick but says 'that's unlikely'," 10 June 2018

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

Listen to Our Podcast about audition

Dictionary Entries near audition

audit

audit ale

audita querela

audition

auditionee

auditive

auditor

Statistics for audition

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for audition

The first known use of audition was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of audition

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on audition

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with audition

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for audition

Spanish Central: Translation of audition

Nglish: Translation of audition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of audition for Arabic Speakers

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

to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!