to hear (speech or a speaker) without the speaker's intention or knowledge: I accidentally overheard what they were saying.
- o·ver·hear·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use overhear in a sentence
The little retreats stand close enough to one another that you can overhear your neighbors’ conversations.
We don’t walk by whiteboards scrawled with ideas that catch our attention or overhear something pertinent to that project that is consuming us.How to recreate the workplace chatter of knowledge in a pandemic | Rajashree R | February 4, 2021 | Quartz
Typically, the brain starts with some new memory, encoded that day—maybe an important event, a discussion overheard at work, or something related to a personal concern—and searches for other, weakly associated memories.
The guy at the next table did, and I overheard his conversation.
Oftentimes, one group would overhear another, and the conversation would spill over into a new subject.
Throughout the day, you would overhear chit-chat about the ongoing tug-of-war between libertarians and social conservatives.
For good measure, he tosses in an unfortunate BUSBOY that happened to overhear the conversation.Frank Underwood Will Not Tolerate Insubordination in This Olive Garden | Kelly Williams Brown | February 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the changing room, I overhear two jocks discussing the crisis.Slouching Towards Maidan: An American Hair-Trader Reflects On Ukraine’s Protests | Vijai Maheshwari | December 15, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
But, late at night, I would overhear their conversation in the language they did not speak during the day, in a different tone.In Syria, Europe & Boston, the Past Is Never Finished | Kati Marton | May 11, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Standing in line for coffee, or just walking down the street, I would overhear people share online-dating experiences.Not Finding Love Online: Dan Slater’s Adventures in Algorithm Dating | Dan Slater | February 2, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Jessie feared that Belle would overhear the comments of Burd and her chum, and she hurried the eating of her second sundae.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn | Margaret Penrose
Henry replied in the affirmative, declaring that he unfortunately could not overhear the subject under discussion.The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
The old man had approached near enough to overhear the words and recognise the face.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands | R.M. Ballantyne
Thus did the old gentleman mutter loud enough for Newton to overhear.Newton Forster | Captain Frederick Marryat
Harry, who had been consulting with our comrades who had just arrived, returned in time to overhear a part of this conversation.A Little Union Scout | Joel Chandler Harris
British Dictionary definitions for overhear
(tr) to hear (a person, remark, etc) without the knowledge of the speaker
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