\ ˈhir How to pronounce hear (audio) \
heard\ ˈhərd How to pronounce heard (audio) \; hearing\ ˈhir-​iŋ How to pronounce hearing (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 negativewouldn't hear of it
4 often used in the expression Hear! Hear! to express approval (as during a speech)

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Other Words from hear

hearer \ ˈhir-​ər How to pronounce hearer (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web What the Chiefs hear from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could differ from what they are told by the Jackson County Health Department, in part because there are so many ideas about how the virus is contracted and spread. Dave Skretta, chicagotribune.com, "The 20% solution? Sports teams that plan to have fans at home games are scrambling to come up with the magic COVID-19 attendance number.," 3 Sep. 2020 Along the way, Weaver’s construction ideas became art ideas that made the Aeolian Butterfly into the artwork folks see and hear. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Music-making butterfly among whimsical new sculptures in Vista," 1 Sep. 2020 What the parents hear from one another in the coffee shops and what middle-schoolers talk about is that the Berkner High School Mighty Ram Band is a safe place where every student fits in. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Powered by online shows, a geeky director and a car battery, Berkner’s Mighty Ram Band plays on in RichardsonThis article has comments enabled.," 28 Aug. 2020 Viewers will also hear from Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., a former Democrat who switched parties during the president's impeachment. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "RNC: What to expect on Day 4 of the convention: Donald Trump, live from the White House," 27 Aug. 2020 Voters across the country will also hear from Vice President Mike Pence who will speak from Fort McHenry in Maryland. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Federal agents are being sent to Kenosha, Wisconsin," 26 Aug. 2020 How much this will affect the industry down the line — and what audiences may see and hear in years to come — is difficult to gauge. Washington Post, "Empty classrooms, studios and stages: In the covid-19 era, an arts education requires an even greater leap of faith," 20 Aug. 2020 For drivers and riders, the status quo is now set to continue until at least mid-October, when judges will hear the companies’ and state’s arguments in court. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "Uber and Lyft Win a Reprive, and Won't Quit California—for Now," 20 Aug. 2020 Ultimately, the mother of two hopes more people will hear Brian's story and either spread the word or be encouraged to join the registry themselves — and potentially save her 10-year-old's life. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Indiana Boy, 10, Is Fighting Leukemia for Second Time, Needs Life-Saving Bone Marrow Transplant," 19 Aug. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for hear

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for hear


How to pronounce hear (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hear

: to be aware of (sound) through the ear
: to listen to (someone or something)
: to be told (something)


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

Medical Definition of hear

transitive verb

: to perceive or apprehend by the ear

intransitive verb

: to have the capacity of apprehending sound

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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

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Comments on hear

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