hear - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlehearing
past tenseheard
past participleheard
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] [never progressive] to realize that someone or something is making a sound

    He listened but heard nothing more.

    Mary heard the sound of voices.

    Shh – I can’t hear.

    hear what:

    No one could hear what she said.

    hear someone/something do something:

    He heard the door slam shut.

    hear someone/something doing something:

    She heard the dog barking outside.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] [not usually progressive] to receive information about something

    Have you heard? Lucy passed her exam.

    hear (that):

    I heard he’d got a new job.

    hear about:

    Did you hear about Jim’s party?

    hear of:

    We didn’t hear of his death until many years later.

    be pleased/sorry etc to hear:

    I’m delighted to hear that you’re coming.

    hear what/how etc:

    I came home as soon as I heard what happened.

    hear rumours/the news:

    We heard rumours that the school was going to close.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to listen to someone who is speaking about a particular thing

    We’ll meet again in two weeks, when I’ll hear your suggestions.

    hear what:

    We’re all eager to hear what he has to say.

    hear someone on something:

    All members are entitled to be heard on this matter.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] [not usually progressive] to listen to something such as a speech, performance, or programme

      I want to hear the news on the radio before I go.

      Do you want to hear this story or not?

      hear someone do something:

      He’s got a great voice – you should hear him sing.

       Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] to notice that someone is affected by a particular feeling from the way that they are speaking

    He heard the bitterness in her voice.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to understand what someone is saying to you

      Look, you’re just not hearing me, are you?

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] used for talking about the things that people say

    I’m surprised to hear you say that.

    I haven’t heard him offering to help (=he has not offered).

    You won’t hear me complain (=I won’t complain).

    be heard to remark/comment/say etc:

    One visitor was heard to remark something about the entrance fee.

  6. 6
    [transitive] if a court case is heard, it is dealt with by a court or judge

    The appeal will be heard by a single judge.

    1. a.
      if a court hears something, that is what is said in court

      The court heard that he had been drinking.