verb (used with object), heard [hurd] /hɜrd/, hear·ing.
- to perceive by the ear: Didn’t you hear the doorbell?
- to learn by the ear or by being told; be informed of: to hear news.
- to listen to; give or pay attention to: They refused to hear our side of the argument.
- to be among the audience at or of (something): to hear a recital.
- to give a formal, official, or judicial hearing to (something); consider officially, as a judge, sovereign, teacher, or assembly: to hear a case.
- to take or listen to the evidence or testimony of (someone): to hear the defendant.
- to listen to with favor, assent, or compliance.
- (of a computer) to perceive by speech recognition.
verb (used without object), heard [hurd] /hɜrd/, hear·ing.
- to be capable of perceiving sound by the ear; have the faculty of perceiving sound vibrations.
- to receive information by the ear or otherwise: to hear from a friend.
- to listen with favor, assent, or compliance (often followed by of): I will not hear of your going.
- (of a computer) to be capable of perceiving by speech recognition.
- (used as an interjection in the phrase Hear! Hear! to express approval, as of a speech).
verb hears, hearing or heard (hɜːd)
- (tr) to perceive (a sound) with the sense of hearing
- (tr; may take a clause as object) to listen todid you hear what I said?
- (when intr, sometimes foll by of or about; when tr, may take a clause as object) to be informed (of); receive information (about)to hear of his success; have you heard?
- law to give a hearing to (a case)
- (when intr, usually foll by of and used with a negative) to listen (to) with favour, assent, etcshe wouldn’t hear of it
- (intr foll by from) to receive a letter, news, etc (from)
- hear! hear! an exclamation used to show approval of something said
- hear tell dialect to be told (about); learn (of)
Old English heran (Anglian), (ge)hieran, hyran (West Saxon) “to hear, listen (to), obey, follow; accede to, grant; judge,” from Proto-Germanic *hauzjan (cf. Old Norse heyra, Old Frisian hora, Dutch horen, German hören, Gothic hausjan), perhaps from PIE *kous- “to hear” (see acoustic). The shift from *-z- to -r- is a regular feature in some Germanic languages.
For spelling, see see head (n.); spelling distinction between hear and here developed 1200-1550. Old English also had the excellent adjective hiersum “ready to hear, obedient,” literally “hear-some” with suffix from handsome, etc. Hear, hear! (1680s) was originally imperative, used as an exclamation to call attention to a speaker’s words; now a general cheer of approval. Originally it was hear him!
- To perceive (sound) by the ear.
Be informed about, as in I’d never heard of that jazz singer before, but she was very good. [Late 1500s] Also see not have it (hear of it).
In addition to the idioms beginning with hear
- hear a peep out of
- hear a pin drop, can
- hear from
- hear of
- hear oneself think, can’t
- hear out
- another county heard from
- hard of hearing
- never hear the end of
- not have it (hear of it)
- unheard of