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\ -​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

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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

Captain Marvel), had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict, so Lynch got a call to audition. Yolanda Machado, Marie Claire, "Lashana Lynch Is Changing the Face of Superhero Movies," 4 Mar. 2019 Singers 18 years of age and older are eligible to audition. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "Telemundo's 'La Voz' Starring Luis Fonsi Will Search For the Best Voices in L.A., San Juan & More Cities," 18 June 2018 In what must be an Olympics first, prospective contestants were invited to submit a video to audition for a spot in the competition. Victor Mather, New York Times, "The Olympics Would Be Better With a Breakdancing Competition. Discuss.," 23 Apr. 2018 My mom even had an outfit in the back of the car for those auditions: raggedy jeans, torn t-shirt, worn tennis shoes. Marie Claire, "Deep Dives," 7 Mar. 2019 Though Joey learns French for an audition, the book here foreshadows one of the final moments of the series: Rachel preparing to move to Paris. Vanessa Golembewski, Glamour, "Have You Noticed They're Always Reading on Friends? Yes, Even Joey," 2 July 2018 Over the course of the morning, Graves, 58, spoke on everything from the need for tenacity in an opera career to specific movement choices for auditions. Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Denyce Graves hits a high note for Opera UCF students," 11 June 2018 Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Shalhoub and James Cromwell came in for auditions. Marc Freeman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Seinfeld' Finale at 20: Hidden Tales From the Vault of a Comedian's Bizarro World," 13 May 2018 Sign up for auditions by visiting the education section at www.boxtheatreco.com. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oconomowoc's The Box Theatre Co. offers kids' drama classes," 27 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The daughter of Jim and Lisa Smalley, who now live in Katy, is auditioning this summer in hopes of landing a job in a show at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Blossoming actress pays tribute to inspiration from ‘Mr. C’," 21 June 2018 Right now students are auditioning for the first two semesters of the program, which will begin in the fall, after school starts. Washington Post, "With academy program, symphony hopes to address diversity," 12 Apr. 2018 Currently the orchestra is auditioning players to fill the last two open positions, which will bring the orchestra to an agreed-upon strength of 88 positions. Atlanta Life, ajc, "Why Atlanta Symphony musicians are happy," 5 Mar. 2018 Nuanced roles like this don't come around often, and The CW's decision to cast a sighted actress, Perry Mattfeld, came after auditioning several blind performers. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The CW’s In the Dark Is a Compelling Look at the Blind Experience," 4 Apr. 2019 The department added the cat to its ranks in April after auditioning five felines from the Michigan Humane Society, the newspaper reported. Fox News, "Michigan police cat name revealed after thousands vote in Twitter poll," 2 Oct. 2018 But after nearly a full season auditioning the concept, the Rays appear vindicated. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Bullpen Day Turns Into a Winning Formula in Baseball," 19 Sep. 2018 The two groups had been chosen to for the Worldstrides Festival after auditioning via video. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Jones High performances at Carnegie Hall: 'amazing,' 'awesome'," 23 Apr. 2018 The couple met in August 2006 when the bride auditioned for a play that the groom was directing. New York Times, "Madeline Long, Joshua Weinstein," 17 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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near audition

audit

audit ale

audita querela

audition

auditionee

auditive

auditor

Statistics for audition

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for audition

The first known use of audition was in 1599

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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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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

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