- to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
- to pay attention; heed; obey (often followed by to): Children don't always listen to their parents.
- to wait attentively for a sound (usually followed by for): to listen for sounds of their return.
- Informal. to convey a particular impression to the hearer; sound: The new recording doesn't listen as well as the old one.
- Archaic. to give ear to; hear.
- listen in,
- to listen to a radio or television broadcast: Listen in tomorrow for the names of the lottery winners.
- to overhear a conversation or communication, especially by telephone; eavesdrop: Someone was listening in to his private calls.
Origin of listen
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for listened
Cairo should have listened to Amal Clooney last year when she recommended judicial reforms.Amal Clooney vs. Egypt’s Courts
January 4, 2015
The police departments say procedures were followed, and grand juries have listened.Protesters Demand Justice For Gurley As Gap Grows Between Cops and NYC
December 28, 2014
"I think this all could've been prevented if they just listened to the 25,000 people who marched last week," Alvarez said.Justice League Vigil for Slain NYPD Officers Asks Whose Life Matters
December 22, 2014
I listened to more than 900 new releases during 2014—all styles, all genres.The Best Albums of 2014
December 13, 2014
I listened mostly to trumpeters and saxophonists more than pianists.Herbie Hancock Holds Forth
November 8, 2014
All who listened were deeply impressed by language so mysterious.
The tune was familiar to her in happier days, and she listened to it with tears.
Her lover played upon his flute, while she leaned against a tree and listened.
Philothea had listened so earnestly, that for a moment all other thoughts were expelled from her mind.
Eudora's countenance kindled with indignation, as she listened to what Milza had told.
- to concentrate on hearing something
- to take heed; pay attentionI told you many times but you wouldn't listen
Word Origin and History for listened
Old English hlysnan "to listen," from Proto-Germanic *khlusinon (cf. Dutch luisteren, Old High German hlosen "to listen," German lauschen "to listen"), from PIE root *kleu- "hearing, to hear" (cf. Sanskrit srnoti "hears," srosati "hears, obeys;" Avestan sraothra "ear;" Middle Persian srod "hearing, sound;" Lithuanian klausau "to hear," slove "splendor, honor;" Old Church Slavonic slusati "to hear," slava "fame, glory," slovo "word;" Greek klyo "hear, be called," kleos "report, rumor, fame glory," kleio "make famous;" Latin cluere "to hear oneself called, be spoken of;" Old Irish ro-clui-nethar "hears," clunim "I hear," clu "fame, glory," cluada "ears;" Welsh clywaf "I hear;" Old English hlud "loud," hleoðor "tone, tune;" Old High German hlut "sound;" Gothic hiluþ "listening, attention"). The -t- probably is by influence of Old English hlystan (see list (v.2)). For vowel evolution, see bury. As a noun from 1788 (on the listen "alert").