eavesdrop

verb
eaves·​drop | \ ˈēvz-ˌdräp How to pronounce eavesdrop (audio) \
eavesdropped; eavesdropping; eavesdrops

Definition of eavesdrop

intransitive verb

: to listen secretly to what is said in private

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Other Words from eavesdrop

eavesdropper noun

Examples of eavesdrop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But its existence lends credence to the very real paranoia about the plethora of microphone-equipped devices all around us—that big tech is eavesdropping on us to fuel advertising schemes. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Google Calls Hidden Microphone in Its Nest Home Security Devices an 'Error'," 21 Feb. 2019 And spies who want to eavesdrop behind enemy lines wouldn’t have to worry about risking life and limb to recharge a remote microphone. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Here Comes ‘Smart Dust,’ the Tiny Computers That Pull Power from the Air," 8 Nov. 2018 Yesterday The New York Times published an explosive report claiming that Chinese spies have been eavesdropping on calls made on President Trump’s personal, unsecured iPhone. Sam Byford, The Verge, "China suggests Trump switch to Huawei after reports of iPhone tapping," 25 Oct. 2018 Chinese and Russian spies routinely eavesdrop on personal phone calls President Trump makes on his iPhones, one of which is no different from the smartphone millions of other people use. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "NYT: Chinese and Russian spies routinely eavesdrop on Trump’s iPhone calls," 25 Oct. 2018 Now, some of those same Republicans are pushing to make public a classified memo about some of the most sensitive secrets in the government: how the FBI eavesdrops on suspects in national security investigations. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, "House to vote on releasing classified Nunes memo about FBI eavesdropping," 29 Jan. 2018 By eavesdropping on the calls of blue whales, researchers hope to get a more accurate picture of the massive mammals' distribution and abundance. Christopher Intagliata reports. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Undersea Recordings Reveal a Whale's Tale," 19 Feb. 2018 Audience members sit behind the invisible fourth wall, eavesdropping on dramas about what humans are capable, or incapable, of. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "With “Fairview,” Jackie Sibblies Drury Breaks the Fourth Wall," 24 June 2018 Vera, posing as a foreign student at the university, deploys an array of listening devices to eavesdrop on her fellow students, particularly those suspected of Communist sympathies. Maureen Corrigan, chicagotribune.com, "Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft.," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eavesdrop.' 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 eavesdrop

1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eavesdrop

probably back-formation from eavesdropper, literally, one standing under the drip from the eaves

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Statistics for eavesdrop

Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for eavesdrop

The first known use of eavesdrop was in 1606

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More Definitions for eavesdrop

eavesdrop

verb

English Language Learners Definition of eavesdrop

: to listen secretly to what other people are saying

eavesdrop

verb
eaves·​drop | \ ˈēvz-ˌdräp How to pronounce eavesdrop (audio) \
eavesdropped; eavesdropping

Kids Definition of eavesdrop

: to listen secretly to private conversation

eavesdrop

intransitive verb
eaves·​drop
eavesdropped; eavesdropping

Legal Definition of eavesdrop

: to listen secretly to what is being said in private without the consent of the speaker — compare bug, wiretap

Other Words from eavesdrop

eavesdropper noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on eavesdrop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eavesdrop

Spanish Central: Translation of eavesdrop

Nglish: Translation of eavesdrop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eavesdrop for Arabic Speakers

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