to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.
to pay attention; heed; obey (often followed by to): Children don't always listen to their parents.
to wait attentively for a sound (usually followed by for): to listen for sounds of their return.
Informal. to convey a particular impression to the hearer; sound: The new recording doesn't listen as well as the old one.
Archaic. to give ear to; hear.
to listen to a radio or television broadcast: Listen in tomorrow for the names of the lottery winners.
to overhear a conversation or communication, especially by telephone; eavesdrop: Someone was listening in to his private calls.
- lis·ten·er, noun
- re·lis·ten, verb
- un·lis·ten·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use listen in a sentence
About a dozen attendees, socially distanced across the backyard, listened.Election live updates: Trump returns to Wisconsin; Biden to face live audience at town hall | Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner | September 17, 2020 | Washington Post
The real skill is pattern recognition over time of who is actually useful for good information — knowing who to listen to and for what.Startup founders must overcome information overload | Walter Thompson | September 17, 2020 | TechCrunch
Instead, I took to spending whole days in the wetland, watching and listening.How to hunt for star-nosed moles (and their holes) | Kenneth Catania | September 15, 2020 | Popular-Science
As always, thanks for the feedback and thanks for listening.What if Your Company Had No Rules? (Bonus Episode) | Maria Konnikova | September 12, 2020 | Freakonomics
Even Spotify only shows you speed options when you’re listening to podcasts.Read, watch, and listen to things faster than ever before | David Nield | September 9, 2020 | Popular-Science
But if you listen to our leaders, they weren't the real targets here.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead | Luke O’Neil | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
What an amazing thing to be able to listen to any music you want, a whole world of bands.
One of the rites of passage for every young political reporter is to listen to the elders tell stories about campaigns past.
But then I thought about the feedback I get from fans, yes we do listen to you, and thought why not?Porn Stars on the Year in Porn: Drone Erotica, Belle Knox, and Wild Sex | Aurora Snow | December 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Why would they listen to the radio when they can see the outside world?North Korea’s Secret Movie Bootleggers: How Western Films Make It Into the Hermit Kingdom | Lizzie Crocker | December 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But he walked up and down the room and forced himself to listen, though he could scarcely bear it, I could see.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
Shopkeepers ran out of their shops, housewives craned over their balconies to listen to him.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
I am always astonished, amazed and delighted afresh, and even as I listen I can hardly believe that the man can play so!Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
No one would listen to him but old Monsieur Farival, who went into convulsions over the droll story.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
I knew, further, that Sunday could not be a day of rest for her, for of all his people she would have to listen to his preaching.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
British Dictionary definitions for listen
to concentrate on hearing something
to take heed; pay attention: I told you many times but you wouldn't listen
- listener, noun
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