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[heer] /hɪər/
verb (used with object), heard
[hurd] /hɜrd/ (Show IPA),
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/ (Show IPA),
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).
Origin of hear
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)
Related forms
hearable, adjective
hearer, noun
half-heard, adjective
outhear, verb (used with object), outheard, outhearing.
rehear, verb, reheard, rehearing.
unhearable, adjective
well-heard, adjective
Can be confused
hear, here.
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hearer
Historical Examples
  • If he had expected any display from his hearer he must have been disappointed.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • These transfer the hearer's sympathies from the wife to the husband.

    The Science of Fairy Tales Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • He waved his thin white hand in completion of a suggestion which made his hearer bridle her stout person.

    In Kedar's Tents Henry Seton Merriman
  • But the intensity of each word burnt it into the hearer as it was spoken.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • It was evident that he was both impressed and certain of impressing his hearer.

  • He stopped, having an uncomfortable suspicion that his hearer was not listening.

    The Freelands John Galsworthy
  • O that its light may shine into the heart and the conscience of every hearer!

  • The hearer simply knows how the voices to which he listens are produced.

    The Psychology of Singing David C. Taylor
  • What he said of the human sacrifices especially interested his hearer.

    A King of Tyre James M. Ludlow
  • This kind of self-laudation benefits the hearer, and changes his opinion.

British Dictionary definitions for hearer


verb hears, hearing, heard (hɜːd)
(transitive) to perceive (a sound) with the sense of hearing
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to listen to: did 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, etc: she wouldn't hear of it
(intransitive) foll by from. to receive a letter, news, etc (from)
hear! hear!, an exclamation used to show approval of something said
(dialect) hear tell, to be told (about); learn (of)
Derived Forms
hearable, adjective
hearer, noun
Word Origin
Old English hieran; related to Old Norse heyra, Gothic hausjan, Old High German hōren, Greek akouein
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 hearer

mid-14c., agent noun from hear.



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!

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hearer in Medicine

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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Idioms and Phrases with hearer
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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