1

ear

noun \ ˈir \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of ear

1 a : 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
3 a : 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

Illustration of ear

illustration of ear

Origin and Etymology of ear

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


2

ear

noun

Definition of ear

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

Origin and Etymology of ear

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 1edge
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-.


3

ear

verb

Definition of ear

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

Origin and Etymology of ear

Middle English eren, derivative of ere 2ear


EAR Defined for Kids

1

ear

noun \ ˈir \

Definition of ear for Students

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.

eared

\ˈird\ adjective
  • a long-eared dog

2

ear

noun

Definition of ear for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

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
2 a : the external ear of humans and most mammals
b : a human earlobe
  • had her ears pierced
3 a : the sense or act of hearing
b : acuity of hearing

Illustration of ear

illustration of ear



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