Definition of eavesdrop
: to listen secretly to what is said in private
Recent Examples of eavesdrop from the Web
Those included reports that the U.S. eavesdropped on German government phones.
To eavesdrop on such traffic, an attacker must determine each new key.
The three-judge appeals court panel ruled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, adopted in the wake of the President Richard M. Nixon Watergate scandal, requires court authorization to eavesdrop on Americans’ communications.
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.
Origin and Etymology of eavesdrop
probably back-formation from eavesdropper, literally, one standing under the drip from the eaves
First Known Use: 1606See Words from the same year
EAVESDROP Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of eavesdrop for English Language Learners
: to listen secretly to what other people are saying
EAVESDROP Defined for Kids
Definition of eavesdrop for Students
: to listen secretly to private conversation
Seen and Heard
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