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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[eer-foo l] /ˈɪərˌfʊl/
noun, plural earfuls.
an outpouring of oral information or advice, especially when given without solicitation.
a sharp verbal rebuke; a scolding.
Origin of earful
First recorded in 1915-20; ear1 + -ful
Usage note
See -ful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for earful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With the help of Vee's set of books and a little promptin' from her I gives him an earful.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • With that he gets back to his Reserve Army scheme and he sure does give me an earful.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • I sure was gettin' an earful of this golf stuff, but I was still awake.

    Torchy As A Pa Sewell Ford
  • But, believe me, Don, I gave him an earful when we got ashore that night.

    The Viking Blood

    Frederick William Wallace
  • I can give Mr. Silverton an earful about that workman of his!

    Dan Carter Cub Scout Mildred A. Wirt
  • Go ahead an' spit 'er out—an' believe me, it'll be an earful!

  • I am with you if you will but give me half an earful of your plans.

British Dictionary definitions for earful


noun (informal)
something heard or overheard
a rebuke or scolding, esp a lengthy or severe one
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for earful

"a piece of one's mind," 1917, from ear (n.1) + -ful.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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