[ heer-ing ]
/ ˈhɪər ɪŋ /


the faculty or sense by which sound is perceived.
the act of perceiving sound.
opportunity to be heard: to grant a hearing.
an instance or a session in which testimony and arguments are presented, especially before an official, as a judge in a lawsuit.
a preliminary examination of the basic evidence and charges by a magistrate to determine whether criminal procedures, a trial, etc., are justified.
earshot: Their conversation was beyond my hearing.

Nearby words

  1. hear, hear,
  2. heard,
  3. heard and mcdonald islands,
  4. heard island and mcdonald islands,
  5. hearer,
  6. hearing aid,
  7. hearing dog,
  8. hearing impairment,
  9. hearing loss,
  10. hearing-ear dog

Origin of hearing

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at hear, -ing1

Related formshear·ing·less, adjectivepre·hear·ing, nounun·hear·ing, adjective


[ heer ]
/ hɪər /

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)

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.

Related forms
Can be confusedhear hereheard herd

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

Examples from the Web for hearing

British Dictionary definitions for hearing


/ (ˈhɪərɪŋ) /


the faculty or sense by which sound is perceivedRelated adjective: audio
an opportunity to be listened to
the range within which sound can be heard; earshot
the investigation of a matter by a court of law, esp the preliminary inquiry into an indictable crime by magistrates
a formal or official trial of an action or lawsuit


/ (hɪə) /

verb hears, hearing or heard (hɜːd)

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 hearing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for hearing


[ hîrĭng ]


The sense by which sound is perceived; the capacity to hear.


[ hîr ]


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 hearing


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.