listen in


listened in; listening in; listens in

intransitive verb

: to tune in to or monitor a broadcast
: to listen to a conversation without participating in it
especially : eavesdrop
ˌli-sᵊn-ər-ˈin How to pronounce listen in (audio)

Examples of listen in in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Slowly, she’s observed how her children have listened in. Jenna Wang, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 Everyone is welcome to listen in on the reading of the children’s book The Polar Express, written by Chris Van Allsburg, which inspired the journey. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 30 Oct. 2023 As a wealthy dentist convicted of killing his wife at the end of an African safari listened in court, her brother vowed on Monday to move her remains to a place that Larry Rudolph would never discover. Colleen Slevin, USA TODAY, 23 Aug. 2023 But listening in on their echolocation might be a key part in conserving the unique species, according to a study published July 27 in the journal Scientific Reports. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 27 July 2023 The researcher used a bat detector to listen in on the rats’ ultrasonic voices. WIRED, 7 Oct. 2023 Ahead of the trial, activist groups had criticized the court’s decision to reject requests for a public telephone line so people around the country could listen in on the trial. Trisha Thadani, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 Audience members listened in as moderators discussed the influence of their careers on beauty. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 12 Sep. 2023 At another table, a pair of locals listen in to Wynn, commenting loud enough for others to hear. Tom Hallman, oregonlive, 17 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'listen in.' 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

1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of listen in was in 1905

Dictionary Entries Near listen in

Cite this Entry

“Listen in.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

listen in

: to listen to a broadcast
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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