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. 2024
How to use listen in a sentence
This may be because they can pause or go back and listen to the hard parts over and over.Healthy screen time is one challenge of distance learning | Kathryn Hulick | September 11, 2020 | Science News For Students
It would be a shame to lose such important business because we stopped listening to what the customer wanted.Our Public Schools Have a Customer Service Problem | Thomas Courtney | September 10, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
They are more open to listening to each other and to thinking about language more holistically.Talking Is Throwing Fictional Worlds at One Another - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Kevin Berger | September 9, 2020 | Nautilus
In the 1960s, before online advertisers started serving custom-made ads that convinced you your iPhone was listening to your conversations, data scientists were engineering messages aimed at small groups of persuadable voters.Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem | Tate Ryan-Mosley | September 6, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Over time, by listening to her, I was able to learn the crypto basics.Podcast recommendations for a better life and career from Fortune’s 40 under 40 | Aric Jenkins | September 5, 2020 | Fortune
I stood with a tape recorder, listening to men denounce the liberal media controlled by Jews.
I spent time yesterday listening to the music you made, and looking at the art you created.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen | Parker Molloy | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But privately, it is listening to other theories, including those about an inside job.FBI Won’t Stop Blaming North Korea for Sony Hack -- Despite New Evidence | Shane Harris | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is impossible to calculate the full effect that watching this on television, listening on the radio must have had on Sam.How Martin Luther King Jr. Influenced Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ | Peter Guralnick | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I could save myself a lot of time and aggravation if I just limited my listening to megastars and their hyped hits.
He caught himself in the act of listening to you too credulously—and that seemed to him unmanly and dishonorable.Confidence | Henry James
He stood listening to what I was saying, and I recall that when I turned slightly and saw his face, it was terrible!The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
We squatted in the long grass and buck-brush, listening, and a few seconds later heard a horse snort distinctly.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
Quickly he gained a sofa by the window and dropped down upon it, watching, listening.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
After a few seconds of listening Bat nodded vigorously, and closed the door.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
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