hear

verb

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

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
3
a
: to listen to with attention : heed
would not hear my side of the story
b
: attend
hear mass
4
a
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.
2
a
: 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)
hearer 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Plus, hear hacks from professional organizers on maximizing counter space, Maintaining your home: Necessary home maintenance can save your thousands in the long run. Sophia Solano, Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2024 Most people do not want to take legal action after hearing that a former employer is disparaging them, whether out of fear of career consequences or lack of financial resources. Christine Shen, Fortune, 15 Apr. 2024 The former wife speaks so faintly that the new wife can barely hear. Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 In this week's episode of The Briefing, hear directly from the reporters behind the investigation that prompted a new Arizona law that reforms assisted living facilities, and gives some of the families profiled in the story vindication for their efforts to advocate for change. Rafael Carranza, The Arizona Republic, 15 Apr. 2024 For divers with hearing impairments, the communication process is nearly the same since scuba divers use hand signals or write on their slate underwater. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2024 The commission heard arguments from lawyers Tuesday, but immediately adjourned when tornado sirens started going off as a storm moved through the area. Eleanor McCrary, The Courier-Journal, 3 Apr. 2024 In the ensuing months, the commission heard presentations from outside experts, including attorney and former Ethics Commission Executive Director Robert Meyers, former Miami-Dade County Building Official Charles Danger and former Coral Gables City Attorney Elizabeth Hernandez. Tess Riski, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 Seconds later, the deputy is heard frantically calling off others. Ben Brasch, Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near hear

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

hear

verb
heard ˈhərd How to pronounce hear (audio) ; hearing ˈhi(ə)r-iŋ How to pronounce hear (audio)
1
: to take in through the ear
hear music
also : to have the power of taking in sound
doesn't hear well
2
: to gain knowledge of by hearing : learn
heard you're leaving
3
: to listen to : heed
hear me out
4
a
: to give a legal hearing to
hear a case
b
: to take testimony from
hear witnesses
5
a
: to get news
heard from them yesterday
b
: to have knowledge
never heard of such a thing
6
: to consider the idea
wouldn't hear of it
hearer noun

Medical Definition

hear

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

transitive verb

: to perceive or apprehend by the ear

intransitive verb

: to have the capacity of apprehending sound

Legal Definition

hear

transitive verb
heard; hearing
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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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