She and Abbott and even the lawyer who said he had overheard the dire threats all asked that Williams be spared incarceration.
“All these questions from journalists,” he said, in a voice that was just loud enough to be overheard.
They would speak up, but in tones still soft and placid; and Spahn often overheard them describing him as a “beautiful person.”
"to hear what one is not meant to hear," 1540s, from over- + hear. The notion is perhaps "to hear beyond the intended range of the voice." Old English oferhieran also meant "to not listen, to disregard, disobey" (cf. overlook for negative force of over; also Middle High German überhaeren, Middle Dutch overhoren in same sense). Related: Overheard; overhearing.