the organ of hearing and equilibrium in vertebrates, in humans consisting of an external ear that gathers sound vibrations, a middle ear in which the vibrations resonate against the tympanic membrane, and a fluid-filled internal ear that maintains balance and that conducts the tympanic vibrations to the auditory nerve, which transmits them as impulses to the brain.
the external ear alone: The hat completely covers his ears.
the sense of hearing: sounds that are pleasing to the ear.
keen or sensitive perception of the differences of sound, especially sensitiveness to the quality and correctness of musical sounds: an ear for music; a violinist with a good ear.
any part that resembles or suggests an ear in position or form, as the handle of a teacup.
Journalism. a small box in either upper corner of a newspaper page, usually the front page or split page, containing the name of or a symbol for the edition, a weather bulletin, a slogan, or the like.
a decorative feature at the upper end of a leg.
one of the decorative features at each end of a crest rail.
ears, Slang. earphones.
Idioms about ear
be all ears, Informal. to give all one's attention; listen: We were all ears as the scandal was revealed.
bend an ear, to listen attentively: to bend an ear to a request for aid.
bend someone's ear, Informal. to talk to someone uninterruptedly and often so as to induce boredom: He'll bend your ear for hours if given the chance.
by ear, without reference to written or printed music: to play the piano by ear.
fall on deaf ears, to be disregarded; pass unheeded: Their pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears.
give ear, to pay attention; listen carefully.: Also lend an ear .
go in one ear and out the other, to be heard but ignored; be put out of mind: My repeated warnings to her went in one ear and out the other.
have / keep one's ear to the ground, to keep well-informed about current trends; be shrewd or astute: Because she had her ear to the ground, she made a large fortune in stock speculation.
have one's ears on, Slang. to be listening to a CB radio, police radio, walkie-talkie, etc.
pin someone's ears back, Slang. to give a person a sound beating; defeat a person utterly: If he doesn't behave himself, I'll pin his ears back.
set by the ears, to cause to dispute or quarrel: He's a troublemaker who keeps trying to set the two other children by the ears.
set on one's ear / ears, to excite or stir up; shock; amaze: The presence of the movie star set the whole town on its ear.
turn a deaf ear to, to refuse to listen to or consider (a request, petition, etc.): He turns a deaf ear to requests for loans.
up to one's ears, deeply involved or occupied to full capacity: We are up to our ears in work.
wet behind the ears. wet (def. 19).
- earless, adjective
- earlike, adjective
Other definitions for ear (2 of 3)
the part of a cereal plant, as corn, wheat, etc., that contains the flowers and hence the fruit, grains, or kernels.
to form or put forth ears.
Other definitions for ear (3 of 3)
to plow; cultivate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ear in a sentence
With each bite, my ears rang with that satisfying crunch and my mouth grew drier.The Rise and Fall of the Rice Cake, America’s One-Time Favorite Health Snack | Brenna Houck | September 17, 2020 | Eater
To be able to do that, you need incredible practice and a great ear.What if Your Company Had No Rules? (Bonus Episode) | Maria Konnikova | September 12, 2020 | Freakonomics
It also has adjustable strings to fit around a person’s ears.Apple has developed special face masks for employees | Verne Kopytoff | September 9, 2020 | Fortune
It’s also working on a smaller HomePod and the first pair of Apple-branded over ear headphones for release as early as later this year.Apple is holding a Sept. 15 online event, where it’s likely to unveil its latest Watch | radmarya | September 8, 2020 | Fortune
Among a comprehensive product refresh in the fall, Apple is also preparing a new iPad Air with an edge-to-edge iPad Pro-like screen, two new Apple Watch versions and its first over-ear headphones outside the Beats brand.Apple is prepping 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year | radmarya | September 1, 2020 | Fortune
“Jeffrey wanted me to tell you that you looked so pretty,” the female voice said into my disbelieving ear.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003 | Vicky Ward | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
In an act of corporal punishment that we at the Daily Beast do not condone, Joseph grabbed Him by the ear and “pulled hard.”
And in his view, they may be good at policy but have “a deaf ear when it comes to politics.”
Worse, when Richman woke up the next morning, her entire ear was purple.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love | Kevin Fallon | November 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
She had low-grade blood poisoning in her ear from the pin she used to pierce it.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love | Kevin Fallon | November 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When we were mounted Mac leaned over and muttered an admonitory word for Piegan's ear alone.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
What the ear hears is the fundamental pitch only; the overtones harmonize with the primary or fundamental tone, and enrich it.Expressive Voice Culture | Jessie Eldridge Southwick
The worst loss is that of Winston's ear; high principles won't obtain high explosives.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
He looked up, half shutting his one funny eye, and cocking one ear up, and letting the other droop down.Squinty the Comical Pig | Richard Barnum
Motionless she stood, straining eye and ear; she could hear nothing, but the gestures told much.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
British Dictionary definitions for ear (1 of 2)
the outermost cartilaginous part of the ear (pinna) in mammals, esp man
the sense of hearing
sensitivity to musical sounds, poetic diction, etc: he has an ear for music
attention, esp favourable attention; consideration; heed (esp in the phrases give ear to, lend an ear)
an object resembling the external ear in shape or position, such as a handle on a jug
Also called (esp Brit): earpiece a display box at the head of a newspaper page, esp the front page, for advertisements, etc
all ears very attentive; listening carefully
by ear without reading from written music
chew someone's ear slang to reprimand severely
fall on deaf ears to be ignored or pass unnoticed
have hard ears Caribbean to be stubbornly disobedient
a flea in one's ear informal a sharp rebuke
have the ear of to be in a position to influence: he has the ear of the president
in one ear and out the other heard but unheeded
keep one's ear to the ground or have one's ear to the ground to be or try to be well informed about current trends and opinions
make a pig's ear of informal to ruin disastrously
one's ears are burning one is aware of being the topic of another's conversation
out on one's ear informal dismissed unceremoniously
play by ear
to act according to the demands of a situation rather than to a plan; improvise
to perform a musical piece on an instrument without written music
prick up one's ears to start to listen attentively; become interested
set by the ears to cause disagreement or commotion
a thick ear informal a blow on the ear delivered as punishment, in anger, etc
turn a deaf ear to be deliberately unresponsive
up to one's ears informal deeply involved, as in work or debt
wet behind the ears informal inexperienced; naive; immature
- earless, adjective
- earlike, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for ear (2 of 2)
the part of a cereal plant, such as wheat or barley, that contains the seeds, grains, or kernels
(intr) (of cereal plants) to develop such parts
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
Scientific definitions for ear (1 of 2)
The vertebrate organ of hearing, which in mammals is usually composed of three parts: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The organs of balance are also located in the ear.
An invertebrate organ analogous to the vertebrate ear.
Scientific definitions for ear (2 of 2)
The seed-bearing spike of a cereal plant, such as corn or wheat.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for ear
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with ear
In addition to the idioms beginning with ear
- early bird catches the worm
- early on
- early to bed, early to rise (makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise)
- earn one's keep
- earn one's stripes
- ears are burning, one's
- ear to the ground, have one's
- all ears
- believe one's ears
- bend someone's ear
- can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear
- coming out of one's ears
- cute as a button (bug's ear)
- fall on deaf ears
- flea in one's ear
- have someone's ear
- in one ear and out the other
- lend one's ear
- music to one's ears
- out on one's ear
- pin someone's ears back
- play by ear
- prick up one's ears
- put a bug in someone's ear
- turn a deaf ear
- up to one's ears
- walls have ears
- wet behind the ears
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.