verb (used with object), overheard, overhearing.
to hear (speech or a speaker) without the speaker's intention or knowledge: I accidentally overheard what they were saying.

1540–50; over- + hear

overhearer, noun
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World English Dictionary
overhear (ˌəʊvəˈhɪə)
vb , -hears, -hearing, -heard
(tr) to hear (a person, remark, etc) without the knowledge of the speaker

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"to hear what one is not meant to hear," 1549, from over + hear (q.v.). The notion is perhaps "to hear beyond the intended range of the voice." O.E. oferhieran meant "to not listen, to disregard, disobey" (cf. overlook, and M.H.G. überhaeren, M.Du. overhoren in same sense).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
To be guilty of the offense of eavesdropping, there must be a deliberate and
  wilful intention to overhear the communication.
Offers to sell you drugs, or conversations about drugs that you overhear.
Offers to sell you drugs, or conversation about drugs that you overhear.
Be aware that others may overhear your conversations with students.
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