American English

Definition of hear verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hear
    he / she / it hears
    past simple heard
    -ing form hearing
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to be aware of sounds with your ears I can't hear very well. hear something/somebody She heard footsteps behind her. I couldn't hear anything. hear somebody/something doing something He could hear a dog barking. hear somebody/something do something Did you hear him go out? I heard a car drive off. hear what… Didn't you hear what I said? somebody/something is heard to do something She has been heard to make threats to her former lover.
  2. 2[transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to listen or pay attention to someone or something hear something Did you hear that interview on the radio last night? a chance to hear the first movement again to hear both sides of the argument hear somebody/something/yourself do something Be quiet—I can't hear myself think! (= it is so noisy that I can't think clearly) Have you ever heard him lecture? hear what… We'd better hear what they have to say. I hear what you're saying (= I have listened to your opinion), but you're wrong.
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to be told about something Haven't you heard? She resigned. “I'm getting married.”“So I've heard.” Things are going well from what I hear. hear about somebody/something I was sorry to hear about your accident. Wait till he hears about this. I've heard about people like you. hear something We had heard nothing for weeks. I was delighted to hear your good news. hear (that)… I was surprised to hear (that) he was married. I hear you've been away this weekend. hear it said (that)… I've heard it said (that) they met in Italy. hear what, how, etc… Did you hear what happened?
  4. 4[transitive] hear something to listen to and judge a case in court The appeal was heard in private. Today the jury began to hear the evidence.
  5. Idioms
    be seeing/hearing things (informal) (humorous)
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    to imagine that you can see or hear something that is in fact not there
    have you heard the one about…?
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    used to ask someone if they have heard a particular joke before
    hear! hear!
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    used to show that you agree with or approve of what someone has just said, especially during a speech
    hear/see the last of somebody/something
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    to hear/see someone or something for the last time That was the last I ever saw of her. Unfortunately, I don't think we've heard the last of this affair.
    hear tell (of something) (old-fashioned)
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    to hear people talking about something I've often heard tell of such things.
    I've heard it all before (informal)
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    used to say that you do not really believe someone's promises or excuses because they are the same ones you have heard before
    let's hear it for… (informal)
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    used to say that someone or something deserves praise Let's hear it for the teachers, for a change.
    make your voice heard
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    to express your feelings, opinions, etc. in a way that makes people notice and consider them The program gives ordinary viewers a chance to make their voices heard.
    not/never hear the end of it
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    to keep being reminded of something because someone is always talking to you about it If we don't get her a dog we'll never hear the end of it.
    you could hear a pin drop
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    it was extremely quiet The audience was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
    (do) you hear me? (informal)
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    used to tell someone in an angry way to pay attention and obey you You can't go—do you hear me?
    Phrasal Verbshear from somebodyhear of somebody/somethinghear somebody outnot hear of something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: hear