• To perceive sounds through the ear.
  • To perceive (a sound, or something producing a sound) with the ear, to recognize (something) in an auditory way.
  • To exercise this faculty intentionally; to listen to.
  • To listen favourably to; to grant (a request etc.).
  • To receive information about; to come to learn of.
  • To be contacted by.
  • To listen to (a person, case) in a court of law; to try.
  • To sympathize with; to understand the feelings or opinion of.


  • From Middle English heren, from Old English hīeran ("to hear"), from Proto-West Germanic *hauʀijan, from Proto-Germanic *hauzijaną ("to hear"), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ḱh₂owsyéti ("to be sharp-eared"), from *h₂eḱ- + *h₂ows- + *-yéti (denominative suffix).
  • Cognate with Saterland Frisian heere ("to hear"), West Frisian hearre ("to hear"), Dutch horen ("to hear"), German hören ("to hear"), Danish and Norwegian Bokmål høre ("to hear"), Norwegian Nynorsk høyra ("to hear"), Icelandic heyra ("to hear"), Ancient Greek ἀκούω ("I hear").

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