Definition of eavesdrop verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

eavesdrop

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈiːvzdrɒp//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːvzdrɑːp//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they eavesdrop
BrE BrE//ˈiːvzdrɒp//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːvzdrɑːp//
 
he / she / it eavesdrops
BrE BrE//ˈiːvzdrɒps//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːvzdrɑːps//
 
past simple eavesdropped
BrE BrE//ˈiːvzdrɒpt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːvzdrɑːpt//
 
past participle eavesdropped
BrE BrE//ˈiːvzdrɒpt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːvzdrɑːpt//
 
-ing form eavesdropping
BrE BrE//ˈiːvzdrɒpɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːvzdrɑːpɪŋ//
 
 
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[intransitive] eavesdrop (on somebody/something) to listen secretly to what other people are saying We caught him eavesdropping outside the window. Word Origin early 17th cent.: 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’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: eavesdrop