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

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

Synonyms for hearing

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for pre-hearing


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



"perception by ear," early 13c., from present participle of hear. Meaning "a listening to evidence in a court of law" is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pre-hearing in Medicine


  1. The sense by which sound is perceived; the capacity to hear.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.