\ ˈhir How to pronounce hear (audio) \
heard\ ˈhərd How to pronounce heard (audio) \; hearing\ ˈhir-​iŋ How to pronounce hearing (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 negativewouldn'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 hearer (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 Someone called police after hearing what sounded like a single gunshot from a large caliber gun at about 7:13 a.m. Aug. 25 in the 1900 block of East Van Beck Avenue. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Now Police Reports: Man punches woman and throws spaghetti around residence," 30 Aug. 2017 Meanwhile, board member Charlene Tabet suggested a monthly joint committee to hear regular updates. Priscella Vega, Burbank Leader, "Amid budget hurdles, Burbank school officials brainstorm topics to discuss with City Council," 29 Aug. 2017 A Ferrari California T is quicker, but its snarling and barking V-8 seems a bit bourgeois after hearing the DB11’s 12-cylinder roar. James Lipman, Car and Driver, "2017 Aston Martin DB11," 25 Aug. 2017

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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More Definitions for hear


How to pronounce hear (audio)

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 heard (audio) \; hearing\ ˈhi(ə)r-​iŋ How to pronounce hearing (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

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


a calculated move

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