\ 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)

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web This is the first time in nine decades that the nation's top court will hear a case involving the NCAA. CBS News, "Supreme Court to hear opening arguments in Alston v. NCAA, which could change the face of college sports," 31 Mar. 2021 Some classrooms now have a microphone feature, so students in the back can hear their teachers just as well as students sitting up front. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "'Pictures don't do the building any justice.' Winton Woods students' first day at new campus," 31 Mar. 2021 People stop to pray, meditate, and read or hear Biblical passages at each station. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Good Friday and Why Do We Observe It?," 28 Mar. 2021 Each Birthright episode features a Black birth story told from multiple perspectives: the pregnant person recounts their experience, but listeners also hear from the doctors, midwives, doulas, and partners who participated as well. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "There Are Joyful Black Birth Stories—This New Podcast Is Highlighting Them," 26 Mar. 2021 Across the country, there has been concern for years over police having upsetting interactions with or killing people who are deaf or hard of hearing, who could not hear officers' commands and appeared to not comply. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "New training will help officers work better with Arizona's 1.1 million with hearing loss," 26 Mar. 2021 The group that will hear the case against Derek Chauvin is made up of 12 jurors and two alternates. Joel Eastwood, WSJ, "Jury Seated in Derek Chauvin Trial for Killing of George Floyd," 23 Mar. 2021 The National Park Service proved an ideal partner at this aspect, because its experts are already attuned to listening for exactly what kind of sounds park visitors hear. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, "Listening to Nature Gives You a Real Rocky Mountain High," 5 Apr. 2021 Take a virtual visit to the library, music room or billiard rooms and hear about the decor from the Gilded Age before slipping into the Grand Ballroom for a peek at its opulence. Mary Lou Cruz, sun-sentinel.com, "Weekly calendar: Community and entertainment events beginning April 7," 5 Apr. 2021

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for hear



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 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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on hear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hear

Nglish: Translation of hear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hear for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hear

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