- 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 [transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to listen or pay attention to somebody/something hear something Did you hear that play 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 [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[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. Word Origin Old English hīeran, hēran, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hooren and German hören.Extra examples ‘Sheep?’ It sounded so unlikely that Sally did not think she could have heard correctly. Can you hear me clearly at the back? Distantly he heard the report of another gun. He’s getting old and he can’t hear very well. I could just hear the music in the distance. I told Michael what he wanted to hear. I was delighted to hear about your promotion. I was sorry to hear of your father’s death. I was surprised to hear that she was married. I’ve heard about this sort of thing before. Let’s hear you sing, then. On hearing of his plight, a businessman offered him a job. We hear very little about these issues nowadays. You’d better not let Dad hear you say that. ‘He’s being promoted.’ ‘ So I’ve heard. ’ Be quiet—I can’t hear myself think! Didn’t you hear what I said? Don’t decide until you’ve heard both sides of the argument. Election events offer voters a chance to hear the candidates speak. Haven’t you heard? She’s resigned. I can’t hear very well. I couldn’t hear anything. I hear what you’re saying , but you’re wrong. Wait till she hears about this! We’d better hear what they have to say.Idioms (informal, humorous) to imagine that you can see or hear something that is in fact not there used to ask somebody if they have heard a particular joke before used to show that you agree with or approve of what somebody has just said, especially during a speech to hear/see somebody/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. (old-fashioned or formal) to hear people talking about something I've often heard tell of such things. (informal) used to say that you do not really believe somebody’s promises or excuses because they are the same ones you have heard before used to give the most recent news you have about somebody/something The last I heard he was still working at the garage. (informal) used to say that somebody/something deserves praise Let's hear it for the teachers, for a change. to express your feelings, opinions, etc. in a way that makes people notice and consider them The programme gives ordinary viewers a chance to make their voices heard. to keep being reminded of something because somebody is always talking to you about it If we don't get her a dog we'll never hear the end of it. it was extremely quiet The audience was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. (informal) used to tell somebody in an angry way to pay attention and obey you You can't go—do you hear me? Phrasal Verbshear from somebodyhear of somebodyhear somebody outnot hear of something
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BrE BrE//hɪə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//hɪr//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hear
BrE BrE//hɪə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//hɪr//he / she / it hears
BrE BrE//hɪəz//; NAmE NAmE//hɪrz//past simple heard
BrE BrE//hɜːd//; NAmE NAmE//hɜːrd//past participle heard
BrE BrE//hɜːd//; NAmE NAmE//hɜːrd//-ing form hearing
BrE BrE//ˈhɪərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɪrɪŋ//