Definition of eavesdrop in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈiːvzdrɒp/

verb (eavesdrops, eavesdropping, eavesdropped)

[no object]
Secretly listen to a conversation: my father eavesdropped on my phone calls
More example sentences
  • Trying to look like I was having fun jumping up and down, I secretly eavesdrop on their conversation.
  • I wanted to listen to you live, as though I was eavesdropping on your conversation.
  • Sent to his room by Aunt Lou, Joe eavesdrops on the conversation.
listen in, spy, intrude;
monitor, tap, wiretap, record, overhear
informal snoop, bug
Australian/New Zealand informal stickybeak



Pronunciation: /ˈiːvzdrɒpə/
Example sentences
  • By using a rolling-code phone scrambler you will secure your conversion against any casual listeners, criminal eavesdroppers, and local investigators and law enforcement agencies.
  • These can be encrypted, but eavesdroppers can't be detected.
  • To talk to a foreigner is no longer a sign of political unreliability, and conversations do not have to be carried out in a hole-and-corner fashion, behind walls, with one nervous eye open for spies and eavesdroppers.


Early 17th century: back-formation from eavesdropper (late Middle English) 'a person who listens from under the eaves', from the obsolete noun eavesdrop 'the ground on to which water drips from the eaves', probably from Old Norse upsardropi, from ups 'eaves' + dropi 'a drop'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: eaves|drop

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