hear

verb

heard ˈhərd How to pronounce hear (audio) ; hearing ˈhir-iŋ How to pronounce hear (audio)

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
3
a
: to listen to with attention : heed
would not hear my side of the story
b
: attend
hear mass
4
a
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.
2
a
: 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 negative
wouldn't hear of it
4
often used in the expression Hear! Hear! to express approval (as during a speech)
hearer noun

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Hardly a day passes when Miss Manners does not hear of yet another party idea that involves presents. Nicholas Ivor Martin And Jacobina Martin, oregonlive, 24 Jan. 2023 Hardly a day passes when Miss Manners does not hear of yet another party idea that involves presents. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2023 Some hear only noise, an intrusion, something to complain about. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Jan. 2023 As business leaders require people to come back to the office and identify strong culture as the reason, people hear culture-speak as code for an experience which benefits the company and its bottom line, rather than employees. Tracy Brower, Forbes, 22 Jan. 2023 The Verge reached out to Samsung with a request for comment but didn’t immediately hear back. Emma Roth, The Verge, 22 Jan. 2023 Next Women of Country has done more than dispel myths about who women want to hear on radio—they’ve worked to revise the notion that female artists cannot sell concert tickets. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 17 Jan. 2023 As the world faces many trials and tribulations, people want to hear from CEOs and other company leaders on certain issues that affect us all. Jennifer Duggan, Time, 15 Jan. 2023 Kids here never hear nice words about this neighborhood. AZCentral.com, 8 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hear was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hear

Cite this Entry

“Hear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hear. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

hear

verb
heard ˈhərd How to pronounce hear (audio) ; hearing ˈhi(ə)r-iŋ How to pronounce hear (audio)
1
: to take in through the ear
hear music
also : to have the power of taking in sound
doesn't hear well
2
: to gain knowledge of by hearing : learn
heard you're leaving
3
: to listen to : heed
hear me out
4
a
: to give a legal hearing to
hear a case
b
: to take testimony from
hear witnesses
5
a
: to get news
heard from them yesterday
b
: to have knowledge
never heard of such a thing
6
: to consider the idea
wouldn't hear of it
hearer noun

Medical Definition

hear

verb
heard ˈhərd How to pronounce hear (audio) ; hearing ˈhi(ə)r-iŋ How to pronounce hear (audio)

transitive verb

: to perceive or apprehend by the ear

intransitive verb

: to have the capacity of apprehending sound

Legal Definition

hear

transitive verb
heard; hearing
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on hear

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!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY