\ ˈhir How to pronounce hear (audio) \
heard\ ˈhərd How to pronounce hear (audio) \; hearing\ ˈhir-​iŋ How to pronounce hear (audio) \

Definition of hear

transitive verb

1 : to perceive or become aware of by the ear didn't hear what she said thought I heard them leave
2 : to gain knowledge of by hearing heard that you were ill
3a : to listen to with attention : heed would not hear my side of the story
b : attend hear mass
4a law : to give a listening to legal arguments in : to give a legal hearing to hear a case
b law : to take testimony from hear witnesses

intransitive verb

1 : to have the capacity of perceiving sound : to be able to become aware of sound He doesn't hear well.
2a : to gain information : learn tired of hearing about his problems
b : to receive communication haven't heard from her lately
3 : to entertain the idea used in the negative wouldn't hear of it
4 often used in the expression Hear! Hear! to express approval (as during a speech)

Other Words from hear

hearer \ ˈhir-​ər How to pronounce hear (audio) \ noun

Examples of hear in a Sentence

Do you hear that music? I couldn't hear a word of what he said over all that noise. I thought I heard him leave. Would you turn the volume up a little? I can't hear. I heard her in concert a few years ago. Have you ever heard Wagner sung in English? The committee will hear witnesses today. I hear he's leaving town. I don't know what happened. I'll let you know if I hear anything. I've heard it said that smoking is bad for your health. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Jurors will hear closing arguments from attorneys this afternoon in the trial for Danielle Redlick, the Winter Park woman accused of fatally stabbing her husband, a prominent faculty member at the University of Central Florida. Monivette Cordeiro, Orlando Sentinel, 16 June 2022 What our audience enjoys is to hear a really deep selection of a specific genre. Myrna Petlicki, Chicago Tribune, 14 June 2022 The theatre, designed by Jörg Friedrich and opened in 2003, is not just a chic place to spend an evening but a thoroughly satisfying venue in which to hear opera. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 The Alabama Republican Party has set June 25 as the date to hear challenges to election results in four races from the May 24 primary. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 6 June 2022 Phelps and his senior leadership team launched the council to have regular communication and discussion with diverse employees to hear their experiences in the sports, and a way to receive feedback on how NASCAR can address their needs. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 4 June 2022 Follow him on Instagram and expect to hear more from him in the coming months. Ebenezer Samuel, Men's Health, 3 June 2022 By adding the amendment on the House floor, it wasn’t vetted through enough committee hearings in which legislators could hear about the potential economic impact a discriminatory policy would have on the state. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 2 June 2022 The Supreme Court will hear arguments this fall in the latest test of LGBTQ, religious and free speech rights. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 1 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hear

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

History and Etymology for hear

Middle English heren, from Old English hīeran; akin to Old High German hōren to hear, and probably to Latin cavēre to be on guard, Greek akouein to hear

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Time Traveler for hear

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hear

heap roasting



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Statistics for hear

Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for hear


\ ˈhir How to pronounce hear (audio) \
heard\ ˈhərd \; hearing\ ˈhir-​iŋ \

Kids Definition of hear

1 : to take in through the ear I hear laughter.
2 : to have the power of hearing He doesn't hear well.
3 : to gain knowledge of by hearing I hear he's moving to another state.
4 : to listen to with care and attention Wait till you hear both sides of the story.

Other Words from hear

hearer \ ˈhir-​ər \ noun


\ ˈhi(ə)r How to pronounce hear (audio) \
heard\ ˈhərd How to pronounce hear (audio) \; hearing\ ˈhi(ə)r-​iŋ How to pronounce hear (audio) \

Medical Definition of hear

transitive verb

: to perceive or apprehend by the ear

intransitive verb

: to have the capacity of apprehending sound


transitive verb
heard; hearing

Legal Definition of hear

1a : to give a hearing to the court heard the claims the judge agreed to hear argument on the objection
b : to conduct a hearing about the magistrate's authority to hear a matter properly before him
2a : to take testimony from the committee will hear 30 witnesses
b : to take (as testimony) at a hearing the judge heard statements from the victim's family

More from Merriam-Webster on hear

Nglish: Translation of hear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hear for Arabic Speakers


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