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listen

verb lis·ten \ ˈli-sᵊn \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of listen

listened; listening play \ˈlis-niŋ, ˈli-sᵊn-iŋ\
transitive verb
archaic :to give ear to :hear
intransitive verb
1 :to pay attention to sound
  • listen to music
2 :to hear something with thoughtful attention :give consideration
  • listen to a plea
3 :to be alert to catch an expected sound
  • listen for his step

listener

play \ˈlis-nər, ˈli-sᵊn-ər\ noun

Examples of listen in a Sentence

  1. I listened as hard as I could, but I couldn't hear a word of what he said over all that noise.

  2. She listened with interest as he told her about his travels.

  3. She tried to warn him of the dangers, but he wouldn't listen.

Recent Examples of listen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'listen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of listen

Middle English listnen, from Old English hlysnan; akin to Sanskrit śroṣati he hears, Old English hlūd loud

listen Synonyms

Synonyms
attend, hark, harken, hear, hearken, heed, mind, prick up one's ears
Antonyms
ignore, tune out
Near Antonyms
discount, disregard

2

listen

noun

Definition of listen

:an act of listening

Recent Examples of listen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'listen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of listen



LISTEN Defined for English Language Learners

listen

verb

Definition of listen for English Language Learners

  • : to pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said, sung, played, etc.

  • —used to tell a person to listen to what you are saying

  • : to hear what someone has said and understand that it is serious, important, or true


listen

noun

Definition of listen for English Language Learners

  • : the act of listening to something


LISTEN Defined for Kids

listen

verb lis·ten \ ˈli-sᵊn \

Definition of listen for Students

listened; listening
1 :to pay attention in order to hear
  • Are you listening to me?
2 :to hear and consider seriously
  • He listened to his father's advice.

listener

\ˈlis-nər, ˈli-sᵊn-ər\ noun


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