ears prick (up)

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of ears prick (up)

of an animal
: to cause (the ears) to point upward
  • The dog's ears pricked up at the sound.
used figuratively of people to suggest listening carefully
  • Her ears pricked (up) when they said her name.

Word by Word Definitions

ear play ears
  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. : any of various organs (as of a fish) capable of detecting vibratory motion

  3. : the external ear of humans and most mammals

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

  1. : to form ears in growing

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated


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