listen

verb
lis·ten | \ ˈli-sᵊn \
listened; listening\ˈlis-niŋ, ˈli-sᵊn-iŋ \

Definition of listen 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

listen

noun

Definition of listen (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of listening

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Other words from listen

Verb

listener \ˈlis-nər, ˈli-sᵊn-ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for listen

Synonyms: Verb

attend, hark, harken, hear, hearken, heed, mind

Antonyms: Verb

ignore, tune out

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Examples of listen in a Sentence

Verb

I listened as hard as I could, but I couldn't hear a word of what he said over all that noise. She listened with interest as he told her about his travels. She tried to warn him of the dangers, but he wouldn't listen.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Microsoft is clearly listening to Windows 10 users who use notepad for development, logs, or simple text manipulation. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft is updating the Windows Notepad app for the first time in years," 12 July 2018 At night, the 73-year-old retired factory worker listens to debris clatter behind the wall at the head of her bed. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Collapse: The rise and deadly fall of a Baltimore rowhouse," 12 July 2018 The people who are polled for their opinion have listened to computer rankings that have informed that opinion. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "The Computer Poll Uprising: Creators of the BCS's Most Controversial Component Look Back," 11 July 2018 While attempting to finish the puzzle, participants listened to a music playlist, with each song eliciting a different stress response. Southern Living, "This Song Will Instantly Lower Your Stress Level By 65 Percent," 3 July 2018 For two weeks, members had listened to the nation’s most distinguished scientists speak on topics ranging from lunar theory to the structures of organic acids. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 Over the following decades, millions would listen to both group and solo recordings by the Jackson 5 (who later became known as The Jacksons) and Michael would become one of the most popular entertainers in history. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Joe Jackson remembered as 'strong-willed' catalyst behind Gary's legendary musical family," 27 June 2018 That's why Wall Street will be listening closely to top corporate executives to see just how much of a threat a full-fledged trade war between the U.S. and its trading partners will have on business results. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "How 401(k) investors can profit from strong earnings season on Wall Street," 13 July 2018 And if that answer is no, then you’re stuck listening to them rattle on about their Twitter threads for at least one full drink. Maria Del Russo, The Cut, "Why Won’t Any of My Friends Set Me Up?," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Teen Vogue has your exclusive first listen of the single that Charlotte believes could be her most significant work to date. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Charlotte Lawrence Debuts "Keep Me Up (Anxiety Song)"," 10 May 2018 How would the proposal force the majority party in listen to the minority party? Rich Exner, cleveland.com, "Ohio Issue 1 Q&A: congressional redistricting and the ills of gerrymandering - Election preview," 3 May 2018 Nonetheless, take a listen and try not to hear the album’s influence on a good chunk of the indie rock bands from your college town in the early- to mid-2000s. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, "Eight Less-Heard Debut Efforts From 1998's Rock Rookie Class -- And How They Stack Up Today," 31 May 2018 Glover’s song deserves a second listen for its sheer creativity and shock value. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Best Songs of 2018 So Far," 1 June 2018 David Bowie singing about trying to get to heaven before the door closes post 2016 makes for a difficult listen. Jessi Roti, chicagotribune.com, "15 of the weirdest Bob Dylan cover songs to celebrate his birthday," 24 May 2018 Take a listen to Ebro's chat with Rosenberg and Stylez below. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Hot 97's Ebro Darden Claims Kanye West Was Almost Featured on Drake's 'Nice for What'," 29 May 2018 The perfect song of the summer doesn’t always identify itself on first listen. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ Is the Song of the Summer," 29 May 2018 The track now has 3.9 million listens and counting on Spotify, only seven months after its release. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lolo Zouaï Makes Bad Days Look Cool in Her "Blue" Music Video," 25 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of listen

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for listen

Verb

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

Noun

see listen entry 1

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Learn More about listen

Dictionary Entries near listen

list

listable

listel

listen

listenable

listener

listenership

Statistics for listen

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for listen

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

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More Definitions for listen

listen

verb

English Language Learners Definition of listen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of listen (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of listening to something

listen

verb
lis·ten | \ ˈli-sᵊn \
listened; listening

Kids Definition of listen

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.

Other words from listen

listener \ˈlis-nər, ˈli-sᵊn-ər \ noun

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Comments on listen

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