- 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 listener
Social media twists everything, but on radio, it is my voice directly to the listener.I'm Not Country or Pop. I'm Just Pure Garth Brooks.
September 10, 2014
The emotional capacity is very small, for the listener as well.Can Linda Perry Save Music?
July 16, 2014
The reaction of The Archers Twitter-faithful was summed up by one listener: “Oooohhhhhhhh.”America, Presenting Your New Addiction: ‘The Archers’
April 25, 2014
The playlist becomes more refined as the listener interacts with the system by approving or disapproving of songs.Why Apple’s iTunes Radio Isn’t a Threat to Pandora or Spotify…Yet
Lauren DeLisa Coleman
November 12, 2013
A listener from Thousand Oaks put me in touch with the Dachshund rescue center where I adopted Lisa-Marie.Here's How Kevin James Would Make Los Angeles Better for Animals
February 11, 2013
Her voice was little more than a whisper, but it was loud in the listener's heart.
The sympathy of it stirred the listener to fearful memories.
The anguish of that question thrilled the heart of the listener.Night and Morning, Complete
Johnnie had the tongue of the improvisator, and he loved a listener.Tiverton Tales
It spoke only of the song, yet the listener thought of the singer.The Gentleman From Indiana
- to concentrate on hearing something
- to take heed; pay attentionI told you many times but you wouldn't listen
Word Origin and History for listener
1610s, "one who listens;" agent noun from listen. Meaning "one who hears a radio broadcast" is from 1912; hence listenership (1938).
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").