ear

noun (1)
\ˈir \

Definition of ear 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the characteristic vertebrate organ of hearing and equilibrium consisting in the typical mammal of a sound-collecting outer ear separated by the tympanic membrane from a sound-transmitting middle ear that in turn is separated from a sensory inner ear by membranous fenestrae

b : any of various organs (as of a fish) capable of detecting vibratory motion

2 : the external ear of humans and most mammals

3a : the sense or act of hearing

b : acuity of hearing

c : sensitivity to musical tone and pitch also : the ability to retain and reproduce music that has been heard

d : sensitivity to nuances of language especially as revealed in the command of verbal melody and rhythm or in the ability to render a spoken idiom accurately

4 : something resembling a mammalian ear in shape, position, or function: such as

a : a projecting part (such as a lug or handle)

b : either of a pair of tufts of lengthened feathers on the head of some birds

5 : attention, awareness lend an ear

6 : a space in the upper corner of the front page of a periodical (such as a newspaper) usually containing advertising for the periodical itself or a weather forecast

7 : a person who listens : listener looking for a friendly ear

all ears

: eagerly listening if anybody spoke of that grisly matter, I was all ears … and alert to hear what might be said— Mark Twain

by ear

: without reference to or memorization of written music plays by ear

in one ear and out the other

: through one's mind without making an impression everything you say to him goes in one ear and out the other

on one's ear

: in or into a state of irritation, shock, or discord set the racing world on its ear by breaking the record

up to one's ears

: deeply involved : heavily implicated up to his ears in shady deals

ear

noun (2)

Definition of ear (Entry 2 of 3)

: the fruiting spike of a cereal (such as wheat or corn) including both the seeds and protective structures

ear

verb
eared; earing; ears

Definition of ear (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to form ears in growing the rye should be earing up

Illustration of ear

Illustration of ear

Noun (1)

ear 1a: 1 pinna, 2 lobe, 3 auditory meatus, 4 tympanic membrane, 5 eustachian tube, 6 cochlea, 7 auditory nerve, 8 stapes, 9 semicircular canals, 10 incus, 11 malleus, 12 bones of skull

In the meaning defined above

First Known Use of ear

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ear

Noun (1)

Middle English ere, from Old English ēare; akin to Old High German ōra ear, Latin auris, Greek ous

Noun (2)

Middle English er, ere, going back to Old English ēar (Northumbrian æhher), going back to Germanic *ahaz (whence also Old Frisian ār "ear of grain," Middle Dutch aer, aere, Old Saxon ehir, Old High German ah, ahar, ehir, Old Norse ax, Gothic ahs), going back to Indo-European *h2eḱ-es-, s-stem derivative from the base *h2eḱ- "sharp, pointed" (in reference to a spike of grain perhaps originally referring to the awns, then generalized to the entire spike), whence also Latin acer-, acus "husks of grain or legumes, chaff," Tocharian B āke "end," Tocharian A āk — more at edge entry 1

Note: The diverse outcomes in Germanic assume generalization throughout the paradigm of the original stem variants: most forms from oblique stems *ahuz-, ahiz-, but Old High German ah, from nominative *ahaz and Old Norse ax, Gothic ahs, from a syncopated stem *ah-sa-.

Verb

Middle English eren, derivative of ere ear entry 2

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Dictionary Entries near ear

E and P

eanling

EAON

ear

earache

earage

ear banger

Statistics for ear

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Time Traveler for ear

The first known use of ear was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ear

ear

noun
\ˈir \

Kids Definition of ear

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the organ of hearing and balance of vertebrates that in most mammals is made up of an outer part that collects sound, a middle part that carries sound, and an inner part that receives sound and sends nerve signals to the brain

2 : the outer part of the ear She pulled on his ear.

3 : the sense of hearing a good ear for music

4 : willing or sympathetic attention The coach had every player's ear.

Other Words from ear

eared \ˈird \ adjective a long-eared dog

ear

noun

Kids Definition of ear (Entry 2 of 2)

: the seed-bearing head of a cereal grass an ear of corn

ear

noun
\ˈi(ə)r \

Medical Definition of ear 

1 : the characteristic vertebrate organ of hearing and equilibrium consisting in the typical mammal of a sound-collecting outer ear separated by the tympanic membrane from a sound-transmitting middle ear that in turn is separated from a sensory inner ear by membranous fenestrae

2a : the external ear of humans and most mammals

b : a human earlobe had her ears pierced

3a : the sense or act of hearing

b : acuity of hearing

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More from Merriam-Webster on ear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ear

Spanish Central: Translation of ear

Nglish: Translation of ear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ear for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ear

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