hear·​ing ˈhir-iŋ How to pronounce hearing (audio)
: the process, function, or power of perceiving sound
specifically : the special sense by which noises and tones are received as stimuli
: opportunity to be heard, to present one's side of a case, or to be generally known or appreciated
: a listening to arguments
: a preliminary examination in criminal procedure
: a session (as of a legislative committee) in which testimony is taken from witnesses
chiefly dialectal : a piece of news

Examples of hearing in a Sentence

He suffered some loss of hearing in his right ear. let's make sure she's out of hearing before I tell you what I got her for her birthday
Recent Examples on the Web Approximately ten business owners and community members came to the hearing to express their support for S.B. 52 and voice their concerns about the construction and the Blue Line. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 The critical hearing will provide a glimpse of what trial may look like for Jackson-Bolanos. Detroit Free Press, 23 Feb. 2024 The utility regulators' vote came after 11 hours of an open hearing in which about 45 residential customers, businesses and representatives of special interest groups spoke. The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 Montgomery took his daughter to New Hampshire roughly a week after the hearing and the Department of Children and Families involvement ended, the report said. Nicki Brown and Nic F. Anderson, CNN, 22 Feb. 2024 As Chad Franke left the hearing, he was seen with a large smile his face, the Daily Mail reported. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 Over the past year, the court docket in Miami federal court showed the two sides repeatedly delayed a critical hearing with the judge to set a new trial date because of ongoing negotiations to resolve the criminal case. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2024 North Carolina's more than 135 death row inmates could potentially see their sentences changed to life in prison in the wake of a landmark hearing scheduled to begin next week that will test whether racial discrimination has played a role in jury selection in capital cases. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, 22 Feb. 2024 At a Wednesday legislative hearing, Vander Woude cited a recent raid of the Idaho Harm Reduction Project, an organization that offers needle exchange services, HIV testing and naloxone — an overdose reversal medication — at offices in Boise and Caldwell. Ian Max Stevenson, Idaho Statesman, 22 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of hearing was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near hearing

Cite this Entry

“Hearing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hearing. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the process or power of taking in sound : the sense by which a person hears
: the range within which the normal voice may be heard
stay within hearing
: a chance to present one's case
demanded a hearing
: a listening to arguments or testimony
: a session in which testimony is heard
held public hearings on the bill

Medical Definition


: the act or power of apprehending sound
specifically : one of the special senses of vertebrates that is concerned with the perception of sound, is mediated through the organ of Corti of the ear in mammals, is normally sensitive in humans to sound vibrations between 16 and 27,000 hertz but most receptive to those between 2000 and 5000 hertz, is conducted centrally by the cochlear branch of the auditory nerve, and is coordinated especially in the medial geniculate body

Legal Definition


: a proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be presented on the matter at issue to be decided by a person or body having decision-making authority compare trial

Note: The purpose of a hearing is to provide the opportunity for each side of a dispute, and especially a person who may be deprived of his or her rights, to present its position. A hearing, along with notice, is a fundamental part of procedural due process. Hearings are also held, as for example by a legislature or an administrative agency, for the purpose of gathering information and hearing the testimony of witnesses.

administrative hearing
: a hearing conducted by an official (as an administrative law judge) or a body (as a review board) of an administrative agency regarding an agency action and especially an action under dispute
confirmation hearing
: a hearing conducted by the U.S. Senate to examine a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court

Note: Article II of the U.S. Constitution provides for presidential appointment of Supreme Court justices “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”

: a hearing held in a bankruptcy case prior to the confirmation of a proposed bankruptcy plan
discharge hearing
: a hearing in a bankruptcy case in which a debtor is informed that his or her discharge has been granted or is told the reasons why it has not been granted
fair hearing
: a hearing that is conducted impartially and in accordance with due process and for which the defendant has reasonable opportunity to prepare, the assistance of counsel, the right to present evidence, the opportunity to cross-examine adverse witnesses, and often the right to a jury
fatico hearing \ ˈfa-​ti-​kō-​ \
: a hearing sometimes held prior to the sentencing of a convicted criminal at which the parties may offer evidence as to appropriate sentencing
Franks hearing \ ˈfraŋks-​ \
: a hearing to determine whether statements made by police officers in an affidavit that was used to obtain a search warrant by which evidence incriminating the defendant was found are false and constitute perjury or reckless disregard for the truth
Huntley hearing \ ˈhənt-​lē-​ \
: a Jackson-Denno hearing in the form of procedure used in New York
Jackson-Denno hearing \ ˈjak-​sən-​ˈde-​nō-​ \
: a hearing to determine if a confession or statements made by a defendant were given involuntarily and so should be suppressed as evidence
Mapp hearing \ ˈmap-​ \
: a hearing to determine whether evidence should be suppressed on the ground that it was obtained as the result of an illegal search and seizure
preliminary hearing
: a hearing held after a criminal defendant's first appearance in court especially for the purpose of determining whether there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the felony with which he or she is charged

called also preliminary examination, probable cause hearing

pretermination hearing \ prē-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən-​ \
: a hearing held prior to the termination of a property interest (as employment or a benefit)
probable cause hearing
: preliminary hearing in this entry
reaffirmation hearing
: a hearing in a bankruptcy case at which a debtor may reaffirm dischargeable debts

Note: The reaffirmation hearing and discharge hearing are usually held simultaneously.

suppression hearing
: a hearing held in a criminal case to determine the admissibility of evidence that the defendant seeks to suppress see also motion to suppress at motion
taint hearing
: a hearing held in a criminal case to determine if the prosecution's evidence is inadmissible because of some taint (as because it was obtained through procedures that violated the defendant's constitutional rights)
valuation hearing
: a hearing held in a bankruptcy case to determine the value of the debtor's property in which a creditor claims a lien or security interest
Wade hearing \ ˈwād-​ \
: a hearing in a criminal case to determine whether a witness's identification of the defendant (as in court or in a lineup) is tainted (as because of unfairly suggestive procedures) and therefore inadmissible as evidence
: a trial in equity practice

More from Merriam-Webster on hearing

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