"organ of hearing," Old English eare "ear," from Proto-Germanic *auzon (cf. Old Norse eyra, Danish øre, Old Frisian are, Old Saxon ore, Middle Dutch ore, Dutch oor, Old High German ora, German Ohr, Gothic auso), from PIE *ous- with a sense of "perception" (cf. Greek aus, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausis, Old Church Slavonic ucho, Old Irish au "ear," Avestan usi "the two ears").
The belief that itching or burning ears means someone is talking about you is mentioned in Pliny's "Natural History" (77 C.E.). Until at least the 1880s, even some medical men still believed piercing the ear lobes improved one's eyesight. Meaning "handle of a pitcher" is mid-15c. (but cf. Old English earde "having a handle"). To be wet behind the ears "naive" is implied from 1914. Phrase walls have ears attested from 1610s. Ear-bash (v.) is Australian slang (1944) for "to talk inordinately" (to someone).
"grain part of corn," from Old English ear (West Saxon), æher (Northumbrian) "spike, ear of grain," from Proto-Germanic *akhaz (genitive *akhizaz; cf. Dutch aar, Old High German ehir, German Ähre, Old Norse ax, Gothic ahs "ear of corn"), from PIE root *ak- "sharp, pointed" (cf. Latin acus "husk of corn," Greek akoste "barley;" see acrid).
The organ of hearing, responsible for maintaining equilibrium as well as sensing sound and divided into the external ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.
The part of this organ that is externally visible.
The sense of hearing.
|ear 1 |
To listen; hear: Rosen Tapes To Be Eared By The Judge (1583+)
all ears, bend someone's ear, blow it out, cauliflower ear, chew someone's ear off, elephant ears, have something coming out of one's ears, in a pig's ass, not dry behind the ears, pin someone's ears back, play it by ear, pound one's ear, pretty ear, pull in one's ears, put a bug in someone's ear, put it in your ear, rabbit ears, stand around with one's finger up one's ass, steam was coming out of someone's ears, stick it, talk someone's ear off, warm someone's ear
used frequently in a figurative sense (Ps. 34:15). To "uncover the ear" is to show respect to a person (1 Sam. 20:2 marg.). To have the "ear heavy", or to have "uncircumcised ears" (Isa. 6:10), is to be inattentive and disobedient. To have the ear "bored" through with an awl was a sign of perpetual servitude (Ex. 21:6).