\ 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)

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Laura would open her dorm room window and hear the teams playing and students congregating on a massive green space in the middle of the campus. Freep.com, "Support quality local journalism like this by becoming a subscriber.," 12 Feb. 2021 The Washington Examiner reached out to Obeng's office for confirmation on the details of the surgery but did not immediately hear back. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Woman finally gets Gorilla Glue out of hair after four-hour surgery," 11 Feb. 2021 In response, Marsh repeated his idea about adding two more casinos to the plan, with the Gaming Commission to hear proposals about where those would be. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama Senate starts 1st debate on plan for lottery, casinos," 11 Feb. 2021 D’Ambra was able to beam in daily and to know that Caelan would at least hear his voice. Eva Holland, Wired, "Premature Babies and the Lonely Terror of a Pandemic NICU," 11 Feb. 2021 After emotional arguments about the legality of the trial Tuesday, only six Republicans joined the 50 Democrats in voting that the Senate had the right to hear the case — far below the 67 votes needed to convict Trump in the 100-member chamber. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Eric Swalwell: Trump 'lit the match' and doused 'kerosene' on insurrection," 10 Feb. 2021 Senators are set to hear arguments Tuesday as the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump gets underway in earnest. BostonGlobe.com, "First-ever trial of an ex-president gets underway," 9 Feb. 2021 Abandoning Kate, Tully goes off with a popular boy named Pat, who gets Tully drunk and takes her into the woods, far enough away from the rest of the group that no one can hear or notice them. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "R29 Recaps: Every Episode From Firefly Lane Season 1," 8 Feb. 2021 For now, Holtan hopes those who hear the station at ChangePoint will enjoy the station and leave with a positive experience of public health. Author: J. Besl, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage has a new radio station just for people waiting in cars for a coronavirus test," 5 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hear

Time Traveler for hear

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hear

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up hear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!