eavesdrop

[ eevz-drop ]
/ ˈivzˌdrɒp /

verb (used without object), eaves·dropped, eaves·drop·ping.

to listen secretly to a private conversation.

verb (used with object), eaves·dropped, eaves·drop·ping.

Archaic. to eavesdrop on.

noun Also eaves·drip [eevz-drip] /ˈivzˌdrɪp/.

water that drips from the eaves.
the ground on which such water falls.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of eavesdrop

before 900; (noun) Middle English evesdrope, evesdripe, Old English yfesdrype; as v., probably back formation from eavesdropper, late Middle English evisdroppyr, apparently literally, one who stands on the eavesdrop in order to listen to conversations inside the house; see eave, drop, drip
Related formseaves·drop·per, nounan·ti·eaves·drop·ping, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eavesdrop

British Dictionary definitions for eavesdrop

eavesdrop

/ (ˈiːvzˌdrɒp) /

verb -drops, -dropping or -dropped

(intr) to listen secretly to the private conversation of others
Derived Formseavesdropper, noun

Word Origin for eavesdrop

C17: back formation from earlier evesdropper, from Old English yfesdrype water dripping from the eaves; see eaves, drop; compare Old Norse upsardropi
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 eavesdrop

eavesdrop


v.

c.1600, probably a back-formation from eavesdropper. Related: Eavesdropping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper