[eer-foo l]

noun, plural ear·fuls.

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for earful

Contemporary Examples of earful

  • Best not to ask GOP fundraising legend Georgette Mosbacher about the state of her beloved party unless you want an earful.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Mosbacher: I’m Furious at My Own Party

    Michelle Cottle

    January 8, 2013

  • Now that he is back we may get an earful from the Egyptian doctor as he catches up on the world since the new year.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Osama's Top Gun Is Back

    Bruce Riedel

    May 20, 2010

  • Maybe Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, or even President Obama, want to give you an earful.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Guy Who's Really to Blame?

    Allan Dodds Frank

    March 17, 2009

Historical Examples of earful

  • 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

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

Word Origin and History for earful

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper