Definition of hear in English:

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Pronunciation: /hir/

verb (pastand past participle heard /hərd/)

[with object]
1Perceive with the ear the sound made by (someone or something): behind her she could hear men’s voices [with object and infinitive]: she had never been heard to complain [no object]: he did not hear very well
More example sentences
  • This may sound cruel but I hear catcalls and people pick on me enough outside my family home.
  • She stumbled out of the way just as she heard the voice, sounding quite irritated.
  • As Claire walked into the main corridor, she heard voices that sounded not too far off.
perceive, make out, discern, catch, get, apprehend;
1.1Be told or informed of: have you heard the news? [with clause]: they heard that I had moved [no object]: I was shocked to hear of her death
More example sentences
  • The next news they heard about Belinda was a phone call in 1997 informing them she had been arrested.
  • If we could absorb the significance and importance of every death we heard about in the news then we would be unable to function.
  • Many people saw things as they were reported on the TV news, or heard about them on the radio as they drove along.
be informed, be told, find out, discover, learn, gather, glean, ascertain, get word, get wind
1.2 [no object] (have heard of) Be aware of; know of the existence of: nobody had ever heard of my college
More example sentences
  • I've never heard of a swimming pool anywhere in the world that has banned backstroke.
  • They say the proposed change will associate them with a place most people have never even heard of.
  • What about lab technicians who are rarely heard of but whose competence can be a matter of life or death?
1.3 [no object] (hear from) Be contacted by (someone), especially by letter or telephone: if you would like to join the committee, we would love to hear from you
More example sentences
  • After a day without hearing from him, she contacted the police and began a search.
  • I've not spoken to her on the phone nor heard from her via letter for three years.
  • Not hearing from him, I contacted another friend in the UK, who had been in touch with his sister.
1.4Listen or pay attention to: [with clause]: she just doesn’t hear what I’m telling her
More example sentences
  • It is at that point that his mantra changes from a selfish need to be heard to actually listening.
  • He may be willing to listen but will he hear anything that's said?
  • She complains that I don't talk to her and then she wonders why I get so angry because she never listens or hears anything I say.
1.5 (hear someone out) Listen to all that someone has to say: Joseph gravely heard them out but never offered advice
More example sentences
  • So, I decided that I would hear them out and just listen.
  • She doesn't listen to their problems, their wants or needs, she just assumes that she knows exactly what they need or want without really hearing them out.
  • The mother hadn't found out her daughters' motives, she hadn't heard them out.
1.6 [no object] (will/would not hear of) Will or would not allow or agree to: I won’t hear of such idiocy
More example sentences
  • Given my feeling about my own journals, when I ran across those kept by my friend's 89-year-old mother after her death, I would not hear of throwing them away.
  • A neighbour of mine had a dog that was run over, it lost three of its legs, these caring people would not hear of the vet putting him down, so instead they used to take him out for a ‘drag’ a couple of times a day.
  • When mom was told, she would not hear of such a thing.
1.7 Law Listen to and judge (a case or plaintiff): an all-woman jury heard the case
More example sentences
  • It was pointed out that all other common law jurisdictions hear such cases in jury courts.
  • To hear cases, the judges sit in Chambers of seven, appointed on a rotating basis from within each Section.
  • Three appeal court judges will hear the case on March 31 as he launches his fight against the conviction.
try, judge;
adjudicate (on), adjudge, pass judgment on
1.8Listen to and grant (a prayer): our Heavenly Father has heard our prayers
More example sentences
  • This is nothing short of God hearing a child's prayer and graciously giving him his heart's desire.
  • Those prayers were heard, for God was preparing him for his future task.
  • The service beseeches God to hear the prayers of the community.



be hearing things

see thing.

be unable to hear oneself think

informal Used to complain about very loud noise or music: I hate bars where you can’t hear yourself think
More example sentences
  • I am unable to hear myself think because of the shouting in my right ear.
  • Angels vice president Tim Mead recalls being unable to hear himself think when the team was three outs from clinching the '86 ALCS, but he says the sustained intensity this postseason was far greater.
  • They were so loud you could not even hear our rides, and we were unable to hear ourselves think, as if thinking is something we have to do!

hear! hear!

Used to express one’s wholehearted agreement, especially with something said in a speech.
Example sentences
  • We say, hear hear, it couldn't have happened to a nicer film/bloke.
  • My mother, who taught fourth grade for 30 years and became heartily sick of parents who insisted that she hand out high grades to undeserving kids in order not to damage their self-esteem, says ‘hear hear.’
  • The crew echoed with ‘hear hear’ and ‘damn straight.’

hear tell of (or that)

Be informed of (or that): I heard tell that he went out west
More example sentences
  • Furthermore, I've heard tell that, like racehorses, modern blocks of flats all have one great-great grandaddy.
  • There were towers and pillars and Elizabeth had heard tell that there were hundreds of rooms, even though the glorious abode accommodated only one occupant.
  • I've heard tell that in Poland there's been a tradition that young boys take sweets to school for girls, and men take flowers for women at work.



Example sentences
  • Dialog is not nearly high enough to be consistently clear and hearable.
  • The whole thing will be hearable on the web by tomorrow AM here.
  • What they aim for is that virtual objects or processes will be not just seeable and hearable, but experienced through touch as well.


Pronunciation: /ˈhirər/
Example sentences
  • That is the real point of the sermon, to help his hearers understand the all pervading contradiction in every human life, especially when it surfaces at the time of death.
  • Real conversation is a series of starts and stops, with doubling back to respond to the words and facial expressions of the hearers.
  • Assume that any biblical verse you cite has an obvious meaning, and lead your hearers to think that it is identical with the point you're trying to make.


Old English hīeran, hēran, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hooren and German hören.

Words that rhyme with hear

adhere, Agadir, Anglosphere, appear, arrear, auctioneer, austere, balladeer, bandolier, Bashkir, beer, besmear, bier, blear, bombardier, brigadier, buccaneer, cameleer, career, cashier, cavalier, chandelier, charioteer, cheer, chevalier, chiffonier, clavier, clear, Coetzee, cohere, commandeer, conventioneer, Cordelier, corsetière, Crimea, dear, deer, diarrhoea (US diarrhea), domineer, Dorothea, drear, ear, electioneer, emir, endear, engineer, fear, fleer, Freer, fusilier, gadgeteer, Galatea, gazetteer, gear, gondolier, gonorrhoea (US gonorrhea), Greer, grenadier, hand-rear, here, Hosea, idea, interfere, Izmir, jeer, Judaea, Kashmir, Keir, kir, Korea, Lear, leer, Maria, marketeer, Medea, Meir, Melilla, mere, Mia, Mir, mishear, mountaineer, muleteer, musketeer, mutineer, near, orienteer, pamphleteer, panacea, paneer, peer, persevere, pier, Pierre, pioneer, pistoleer, privateer, profiteer, puppeteer, racketeer, ratafia, rear, revere, rhea, rocketeer, Sapir, scrutineer, sear, seer, sere, severe, Shamir, shear, sheer, sincere, smear, sneer, sonneteer, souvenir, spear, sphere, steer, stere, summiteer, Tangier, tear, tier, Trier, Tyr, veer, veneer, Vere, Vermeer, vizier, volunteer, Wear, weir, we're, year, Zaïre

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hear

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