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[eer-foo l]
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noun, plural ear·fuls.
  1. an outpouring of oral information or advice, especially when given without solicitation.
  2. a sharp verbal rebuke; a scolding.
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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. 2018

Related Words


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

British Dictionary definitions for earful


noun informal
  1. something heard or overheard
  2. a rebuke or scolding, esp a lengthy or severe one
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper