verb \ ˈhir \

Definition of hear

heard play \ˈhərd\; hearing play \ˈhir-iŋ\
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
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)


play \ˈhir-ər\ noun

Examples of hear in a Sentence

  1. Do you hear that music?

  2. I couldn't hear a word of what he said over all that noise.

  3. I thought I heard him leave.

  4. Would you turn the volume up a little? I can't hear.

  5. I heard her in concert a few years ago.

  6. Have you ever heard Wagner sung in English?

  7. The committee will hear witnesses today.

  8. I hear he's leaving town.

  9. I don't know what happened. I'll let you know if I hear anything.

  10. I've heard it said that smoking is bad for your health.

Recent Examples of hear from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

hear Synonyms


ignore, tune out;

Near Antonyms

discount, disregard;


prick up one's ears;

HEAR Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of hear for English Language Learners

  • : to be aware of (sound) through the ear

  • : to listen to (someone or something)

  • : to be told (something)

HEAR Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈhir \

Definition of hear for Students

heard \ˈhərd\; hearing \ˈhir-iŋ\
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.


\ˈhir-ər\ noun

Headscratcher for hear

You need ears to hear and you need “ear” to spell “hear.”

Medical Dictionary


verb \ ˈhi(ə)r \

medical Definition of hear

heard play \ˈhərd\; hearing play \ˈhi(ə)r-iŋ\
: to perceive or apprehend by the ear
: to have the capacity of apprehending sound

Law Dictionary


transitive verb

legal Definition of hear

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

Seen and Heard

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