verb (used with object), heard [hurd] , hearing.
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] , hearing.
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 interjectionally in the phrase Hear! Hear! to express approval, as of a speech).

before 950; Middle English heren, Old English hēran, hīeran; cognate with Dutch horen, German hören, Old Norse heyra, Gothic hausjan; perhaps akin to Greek akoúein (see acoustic)

hearable, adjective
hearer, noun
half-heard, adjective
outhear, verb (used with object), outheard, outhearing.
rehear, verb, reheard, rehearing.
unhearable, adjective
well-heard, adjective

1. hear, here (see synonym study at the current entry) ; 2. heard, herd.

1, 2. attend. Hear, listen apply to the perception of sound. To hear is to have such perception by means of the auditory sense: to hear distant bells. To listen is to give attention in order to hear and understand the meaning of a sound or sounds: to listen to what is being said; to listen for a well-known footstep. 4. attend. 7. regard, heed.

7. disregard.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hear (hɪə)
vb (when intr, sometimes foll by of or about; when tr, may take a clause as object) (when intr, usually foll by of and used with a negative) (foll by from) , hears, hearing, heard
1.  (tr) to perceive (a sound) with the sense of hearing
2.  (tr; may take a clause as object) to listen to: did you hear what I said?
3.  to be informed (of); receive information (about): to hear of his success; have you heard?
4.  law to give a hearing to (a case)
5.  to listen (to) with favour, assent, etc: she wouldn't hear of it
6.  to receive a letter, news, etc (from)
7.  hear! hear! an exclamation used to show approval of something said
8.  dialect hear tell to be told (about); learn (of)
[Old English hieran; related to Old Norse heyra, Gothic hausjan, Old High German hōren, Greek akouein]

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

O.E. heran (Anglian), (ge)hieran, hyran (W.Saxon), from P.Gmc. *khauzjianan (cf. O.N. hegra, O.Fris. hora, Du. horen, Ger. hören, Goth. hausjan), perhaps from PIE base *(s)keu- "to notice, observe." Spelling difference between hear and here developed 1200-1550. Hearing "listening to evidence in
a court of law" is from 1576; hearsay is 1532 from phrase to hear say. O.E. also had the excellent adj. hiersum "ready to hear, obedient," lit. "hear-some" with suffix from handsome, etc. Hear, hear! (1689) 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!
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

hear (hēr)
v. heard (hûrd), hear·ing, hears
To perceive (sound) by the ear.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with hear, also see another county heard from; hard of hearing; never hear the end of; not have it (hear of it); unheard of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The plays he wrote are mind-boggling when you hear about them-they sound so
The sound you hear as you walk up the beach toward the dig is the clinking of
  hammers on chisels.
The voice you hear when you speak is the combination of sound carried along
  both paths.
But the frequencies have a special harmonic relationship, which is why you hear
  it as a single sound with a single pitch.
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