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[aw-dee-uh ns] /ˈɔ di əns/
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
Related forms
proaudience, adjective
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for audience
  • It is a community event in which the audience joins in singing, clapping and dancing.
  • 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.
  • You can select what best suits your audience.
  • My work began to attract an audience.
  • Deadpan allows the audience to imagine your reaction.
  • We think it's a great fit with our primetime audience and our brand.
  • Yet for close on 90 minutes he held his audience spellbound.
  • The show is taped in front of a live studio audience.
British Dictionary definitions for audience


a group of spectators or listeners, esp at a public event such as a concert or play
the people reached by a book, film, or radio or television programme
the devotees or followers of a public entertainer, lecturer, etc; regular public
an opportunity to put one's point of view, such as a formal interview with a monarch or head of state
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin audientia a hearing, from audīre to hear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for audience

late 14c., "the action of hearing," from Old French audience, from Latin audentia "a hearing, listening," from audientum (nominative audiens), present participle of audire "to hear," from PIE compound *au-dh- "to perceive physically, grasp," from root *au- "to perceive" (cf. Greek aisthanesthai "to feel;" Sanskrit avih, Avestan avish "openly, evidently;" Old Church Slavonic 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. (French 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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