verb (used with object), heard [hurd] /hɜrd/, hear·ing.

verb (used without object), heard [hurd] /hɜrd/, hear·ing.

Origin of hear

before 950; Middle English heren, Old English hēran, hīeran; cognate with Dutch horen, German hören, Old Norse heyra, Gothic hausjan; perhaps akin to Greek akoúein (see acoustic)
Related formshear·a·ble, adjectivehear·er, nounhalf-heard, adjectiveout·hear, verb (used with object), out·heard, out·hear·ing.re·hear, verb, re·heard, re·hear·ing.un·hear·a·ble, adjectivewell-heard, adjective
Can be confusedhear hereheard herd

Synonyms for hear

1, 2. attend. Hear, listen apply to the perception of sound. To hear is to have such perception by means of the auditory sense: to hear distant bells. To listen is to give attention in order to hear and understand the meaning of a sound or sounds: to listen to what is being said; to listen for a well-known footstep. 4. attend. 7. regard, heed.

Antonyms for hear

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

Related Words for heard

understood, caught, noted, witnessed, heeded

Examples from the Web for heard

Contemporary Examples of heard

Historical Examples of heard

  • I heard about it from Mrs. Balldridge when we came here last fall.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "I have not heard the rumours whereof you speak," replied Philothea.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Then I heard a mighty voice, that seemed to proceed from within the Parthenon.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • No one has seen him shed a tear, of heard him utter a complaint.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • They were the last she heard sung by Paralus, the night Anaxagoras departed from Athens.


    Lydia Maria Child

British Dictionary definitions for heard


verb hears, hearing or heard (hɜːd)

(tr) to perceive (a sound) with the sense of hearing
(tr; may take a clause as object) to listen todid you hear what I said?
(when intr, sometimes foll by of or about; when tr, may take a clause as object) to be informed (of); receive information (about)to hear of his success; have you heard?
law to give a hearing to (a case)
(when intr, usually foll by of and used with a negative) to listen (to) with favour, assent, etcshe wouldn't hear of it
(intr foll by from) to receive a letter, news, etc (from)
hear! hear! an exclamation used to show approval of something said
hear tell dialect to be told (about); learn (of)
Derived Formshearable, adjectivehearer, noun

Word Origin for hear

Old English hieran; related to Old Norse heyra, Gothic hausjan, Old High German hōren, Greek akouein
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 heard

past tense and past participle of hear, Old English herde.



Old English heran (Anglian), (ge)hieran, hyran (West Saxon) "to hear, listen (to), obey, follow; accede to, grant; judge," from Proto-Germanic *hauzjan (cf. Old Norse heyra, Old Frisian hora, Dutch horen, German hören, Gothic hausjan), perhaps from PIE *kous- "to hear" (see acoustic). The shift from *-z- to -r- is a regular feature in some Germanic languages.

For spelling, see see head (n.); spelling distinction between hear and here developed 1200-1550. Old English also had the excellent adjective hiersum "ready to hear, obedient," literally "hear-some" with suffix from handsome, etc. Hear, hear! (1680s) was originally imperative, used as an exclamation to call attention to a speaker's words; now a general cheer of approval. Originally it was hear him!

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

heard in Medicine




To perceive (sound) by the ear.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with heard


In addition to the idioms beginning with hear

  • hear a peep out of
  • hear a pin drop, can
  • hear from
  • hear of
  • hear oneself think, can't
  • hear out

also see:

  • another county heard from
  • hard of hearing
  • never hear the end of
  • not have it (hear of it)
  • unheard of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.