Definition of ear noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    ear

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ɪr//
     
     
    jump to other results
  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 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, middle ear
  2. 2-eared (in adjectives) having the type of ears mentioned a long-eared owl
  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
  5. Idioms
    be all ears(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to be waiting with interest to hear what someone has to say “Do you know what he said?” “Go on—I'm all ears.”
    bend somebody's ear (about something)(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to talk to someone a lot about something, especially about a problem that you have
    be out on your ear(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to be forced to leave (a job, etc.)
    be up to your ears in something
     
    jump to other results
    to have a lot of something to deal with We're up to our ears in work.
    box somebody's ears(old-fashioned)
     
    jump to other results
    to hit someone with your hand on the side of their head as a punishment
    cock an ear/eye at something/somebody
     
    jump to other results
    to look at or listen to someone or something carefully and with a lot of attention
    something comes to/reaches somebody's ears
     
    jump to other results
    someone hears about something, especially when other people already know about it News of his affair eventually reached her ears.
    somebody's ears are burning
     
    jump to other results
    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!”
    easy on the ear/eye(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    pleasant to listen to or look at The room was painted in soft pastels that were easy on the eye.
    fall on deaf ears
     
    jump to other results
    to be ignored or not noticed by other people Her advice fell on deaf ears.
    feel your ears burning
     
    jump to other results
    to think or imagine that other people are talking about you
    go in one ear and out the other(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    (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(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    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
     
    jump to other results
    to be able to give someone advice, influence them, etc. because they trust you He had the ear of the president.
    keep your ears/eyes open (for something)
     
    jump to other results
    to be quick to notice or hear things
    keep/have your ear to the ground
     
    jump to other results
    to make sure that you always find out about the most recent developments in a particular situation The agent had no suitable properties available, but promised to keep an ear to the ground for us.
    lend an ear (to somebody/something)
     
    jump to other results
    to listen in a patient and sympathetic way to someone
    make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
     
    jump to other results
    to succeed in making something good out of material that does not seem very good at all
    music to your ears
     
    jump to other results
    news or information that you are very pleased to hear
    not believe your ears/eyes(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to be very surprised at something you hear/see I couldn't believe my eyes when she walked in.
    play (something) by ear
     
    jump to other results
    to play music by remembering how it sounds rather than by reading it
    play it by ear(informal)
     
    jump to other results
    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 coming—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.
      prick (up) your ears
       
      jump to other results
    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.
    ring in your ears/head
     
    jump to other results
    to make you feel that you can still hear something His warning was still ringing in my ears.
    shut/close your ears to something
     
    jump to other results
    to refuse to listen to something She decided to shut her ears to all the rumors.
    smile/grin/beam from ear to ear
     
    jump to other results
    to be smiling, etc. a lot because you are very pleased about something
    turn a deaf ear (to somebody/something)
     
    jump to other results
    to ignore or refuse to listen to someone or something He turned a deaf ear to the rumors.
    walls have ears(saying)
     
    jump to other results
    used to warn people to be careful what they say because other people may be listening
    (still) wet behind the ears(informal)(disapproving)
     
    jump to other results
    young and without much experience synonym naive He was still wet behind the ears, politically.
    with half an ear
     
    jump to other results
    without giving your full attention to what is being said, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: ear