Definition of ear noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    ear

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ɪə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪr//
     
    Body parts, Crops, Face
     
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  1. 1   [countable] either of the organs on the sides of the head that you hear with an ear infection the inner/outer ear She whispered something in his ear. He put his hands over his ears. She's had her ears pierced. The elephant flapped its ears. He was always there with a sympathetic ear (= a willingness to listen to people). see also cauliflower ear, glue ear, middle ear See related entries: Body parts, Face
  2. 2-eared (in adjectives) having the type of ears mentioned a long-eared owl More Like This Compound adjectives for physical characteristics -beaked, -bellied, -billed, -blooded, -bodied, -cheeked, -chested, -eared, -eyed, -faced, -fingered, -footed, -haired, -handed, -headed, -hearted, -hipped, -lidded, -limbed, -mouthed, -necked, -nosed, -skinned, -tailed, -throated, -toothedSee worksheet.
  3. 3[singular] an ability to recognize and copy sounds well She has always had an ear for languages. You need a good ear to master the piano.
  4. 4 [countable] the top part of a grain plant, such as wheat, that contains the seeds ears of corn See related entries: Crops
  5. Word Origin senses 1 to 3 Old English ēare, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch oor and German Ohr, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin auris and Greek ous. sense 4 Old English ēar, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aar and German Ähre.Extra examples ‘We were talking about you last night.’ ‘I thought my ears were burning.’ A blast of punk rock music assaulted her ears. A horse may show annoyance by putting its ears back. A small noise caught his ear. At first I stopped my ears to what I did not want to hear. Blood from his torn ear was soaking his collar. Chinese music uses a scale that is unfamiliar to Western ears. Christopher felt his ears reddening. Come on, tell me, I’m all ears. Dogs can hear things that human ears can’t hear. Drop a quiet word in her ear about it before it’s too late. Each animal receives an individual ear tag. Even if my fears were silly, he always had an open ear. He arrived home hungry, and the noise from the kitchen was music to his ears. He could hear much better after having his ears cleaned out. He had three ear piercings. He has a good ear for accents and can usually tell where a speaker comes from. He has a keen ear for dialogue. He has really big ears that stick out. He listened to her with only half an ear as he watched TV. He plugged his ears to drown out the music. He plugged his ears with tissue paper to drown out the music. He pressed his ear to the door, but heard nothing. He waited in the darkness, his ears alert for the slightest sound. He was always willing to lend an ear. He was beaming from ear to ear. He went home with the teacher’s warning ringing in his ears. Her ears listened expectantly. His ears pricked up when he heard his name mentioned. His sharp ears had picked up the uncertainty in her voice. I have a few words for your ears alone. I knew that my words were going in one ear and out the other. I strained my ears to catch the conversation in the other room. I’ll keep my ears open for a second-hand bike for you. I’m sorry for talking your ear off. I’ve just had my ears pierced so I’m going to buy some earrings. If news of the break-in reaches the boss’s ears, we’re in trouble. If you suck a sweet as the plane takes off it stops your ears popping. In the silence everyone seemed to be aware of listening ears. It takes time to attune your ear to the local accent. My heart was pounding in my ears. She actually apologized. I couldn’t believe my ears! She always provided a sympathetic ear for students with problems. She bent my ear about it for three days. She couldn’t see, but her ears told her that the guards had arrived. She did not like the plan, as she made clear every time she found a receptive ear= somebody willing to listen. She did not like the scheme, as she made clear every time she found a receptive ear. She has a tin ear for melody. She nibbled on his ear. She put her hands over her ears to block out what he was saying. She put on her ear muffs and went out into the snow. She stood outside the room, her ears straining to hear what they were saying. She usually plays the guitar by ear, rather than reading the music. Some of the words used in 18th-century writing sound strange to modern ears. The dog pricked up its ears. The explosion set my ears ringing and even made me jump a bit. The horse lifted its head and flicked its ears. The music was so loud I had to cover my ears. The music was so loud that it hurt my ears. The sound of the blast filled my ears. The teacher turned a deaf ear to the boy’s requests= ignored them. The teacher turned a deaf ear to the boy’s swearing. The voices buzzing all around echoed in her ears. Their complaints about the poor service fell on deaf ears. This was the woman who had the ear of the President. To the trained ear the calls of these birds sound quite different. When the notes are played so close together the ear hears no space between them. a rabbit with long floppy earsIdioms (informal) to be waiting with interest to hear what somebody has to say ‘Do you know what he said?’ ‘Go on—I'm all ears.’ See related entries: Showing interest
    bend somebody’s ear (about something)
     
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    (informal) to talk to somebody a lot about something, especially about a problem that you have
    (informal) to be forced to leave (a job, etc.)
    be up to your ears in something
     
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    to have a lot of something to deal with We're up to our ears in work.
    (old-fashioned) to hit somebody with your hand on the side of their head as a punishment
    cock an ear/eye at something/somebody
     
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    to look at or listen to somebody/something carefully and with a lot of attention
    something comes to/reaches somebody’s ears
     
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    somebody hears about something, especially when other people already know about it News of his affair eventually reached her ears.
    somebody’s ears are burning
     
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    a person thinks that other people are talking about them, especially in an unkind way ‘I bumped into your ex-wife last night.’ ‘I thought I could feel my ears burning!’
    somebody’s ears are flapping
     
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    (British English, informal) a person is trying to listen to somebody else’s conversation
    (informal) pleasant to listen to or look at The room was painted in soft pastels that were easy on the eye. to be ignored or not noticed by other people Her advice fell on deaf ears. to think or imagine that other people are talking about you
    give somebody a box on the ears
     
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    (old-fashioned) to hit somebody with your hand on the side of their head as a punishment
    give somebody/get a thick ear
     
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    (British English, informal) to hit somebody/be hit on the head as a punishment You’ll get a thick ear if you’re not careful!
    go in one ear and out the other
     
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    (informal) (of information, etc.) to be forgotten quickly Everything I tell them just goes in one ear and out the other.
    have something coming out of your ears
     
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    (informal) to have a lot of something, especially more than you need That man has money coming out of his ears.
    have somebody’s ear, have the ear of somebody
     
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    to be able to give somebody advice, influence them, etc. because they trust you He had the ear of the monarch.
    have a word in somebody’s ear
     
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    (British English) to speak to somebody privately about something
    keep your ears/eyes open (for something)
     
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    to be quick to notice or hear things
    keep/have your ear to the ground
     
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    to make sure that you always find out about the most recent developments in a particular situation The agent had no suitable properties on his books but promised to keep an ear to the ground for us.
    lend an ear (to somebody/something)
     
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    to listen in a patient and sympathetic way to somebody
    make a pig’s ear (out) of something
     
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    (British English, informal) to do something badly; to make a mess of something
    make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
     
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    to succeed in making something good out of material that does not seem very good at all
    news or information that you are very pleased to hear
    not believe your ears/eyes
     
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    (informal) to be very surprised at something you hear/see I couldn't believe my eyes when she walked in.
    play (something) by ear
     
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    to play music by remembering how it sounds rather than by reading it
    (informal) to decide how to deal with a situation as it develops rather than by having a plan to follow I’m not sure how many people are expected—we’ll just have to play it by ear. I don't know what they'll want when they arrive—we'll have to play it by ear.
    1. 1(of an animal, especially a horse or dog) to raise the ears
    2. 2(also your ears prick up) (of a person) to listen carefully, especially because you have just heard something interesting Her ears pricked up at the sound of his name. I walked along, ears pricked for the slightest noise.
    to make you feel that you can still hear something His warning was still ringing in my ears.
    shut/close your ears to something
     
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    to refuse to listen to something She decided to shut her ears to all the rumours.
    smile/grin/beam from ear to ear
     
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    to be smiling, etc. a lot because you are very pleased about something See related entries: Happiness
    turn a deaf ear (to somebody/something)
     
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    to ignore or refuse to listen to somebody/something He turned a deaf ear to the rumours.
    (saying) used to warn people to be careful what they say because other people may be listening
    (still) wet behind the ears
     
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    (informal, disapproving) young and without much experience synonym naive He was still wet behind the ears, politically.
    with a flea in your ear
     
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    if somebody sends a person away with a flea in their ear, they tell them angrily to go away
    without giving your full attention to what is being said, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ear