[ oh-ver-heer ]
/ ˌoʊ vərˈhɪər /

verb (used with object), o·ver·heard, o·ver·hear·ing.

to hear (speech or a speaker) without the speaker's intention or knowledge: I accidentally overheard what they were saying.


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Take this quiz to see if you really know the difference between “compliment” and “complement"!
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“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.

Origin of overhear

First recorded in 1540–50; over- + hear


o·ver·hear·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for overhear

British Dictionary definitions for overhear

/ (ˌəʊvəˈhɪə) /

verb -hears, -hearing or -heard

(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