\ 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 When the reboot of the classic game show Legends of the Hidden Temple hits television screens this fall on The CW, fans will hear a very familiar voice. PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2021 And in the home tech focused episode, viewers will hear all about how America transformed during the industrial revolution, in terms of product innovations, women in the workforce and much more. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 16 July 2021 The Supreme Court will hear a case on Mississippi’s legislation to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks in the coming term, and likely reach a decision next June or early July, four months before the election. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, 16 July 2021 Laura Hancock writes that lawmakers have been trying to legalize the fireworks since 2014, and the bill that Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed last week isn’t the last the public will hear about the issue. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 15 July 2021 The court will likely hear that case in the fall, with a decision likely in 2022. Meg Kinnard, Star Tribune, 14 July 2021 The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s case on Oct. 13, as the government tries to convince the panel to reverse a lower appellate court ruling that tossed his death sentence. BostonGlobe.com, 13 July 2021 Groups have planned a day of demonstrations outside the Genesee County Circuit Court, where Judge Joseph Farah, who is assisting Levy, will hear from those who want to testify in person. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 12 July 2021 Leitess said the jury will also hear from six of the shooting survivors about the terror inside the newsroom that day. Washington Post, 8 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near hear

heap roasting



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Statistics for hear

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 30 Jul. 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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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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