the group of spectators at a public event; listeners or viewers collectively, as in attendance at a theater or concert: The audience was respectful of the speaker's opinion.
the persons reached by a book, radio or television broadcast, etc.; public: Some works of music have a wide and varied audience.
a regular public that manifests interest, support, enthusiasm, or the like; a following: Every art form has its audience.
opportunity to be heard; chance to speak to or before a person or group; a hearing.
a formal interview with a sovereign, high officer of government, or other high-ranking person: an audience with the pope.
the act of hearing, or attending to, words or sounds.

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French < Latin audientia. See audient, -ence

proaudience, adjective

See collective noun. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
audience (ˈɔːdɪəns)
1.  a group of spectators or listeners, esp at a public event such as a concert or play
2.  the people reached by a book, film, or radio or television programme
3.  the devotees or followers of a public entertainer, lecturer, etc; regular public
4.  an opportunity to put one's point of view, such as a formal interview with a monarch or head of state
[C14: from Old French, from Latin audientia a hearing, from audīre to hear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "the action of hearing," from O.Fr. audience, from L. audentia "a hearing, listening," from audientum (nom. audiens), prp. of audire "to hear," from PIE compound *au-dh- "to perceive physically, grasp," from base *au- "to perceive" (cf. Gk. aisthanesthai "to feel;" Skt. avih, Avestan avish
"openly, evidently;" O.C.S. javiti "to reveal"). Meaning "formal hearing or reception" is from late 14c.; that of "persons within hearing range, assembly of listeners" is from early 15c. (Fr. audience retains only the older senses). Sense transferred 1855 to "readers of a book." Audience-participation (adj.) first recorded 1940.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It is a community event in which the audience joins in singing, clapping and
The potential value is that an event that many might miss because they were not
  able to catch it live might now find its audience.
For emerging cooks, these are part recital and part art happening, a chance to
  dazzle an adventurous and demanding audience.
He tried to take questions from the audience.
Images for audience
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