[ lis-uh n ]
/ ˈlɪs ən /

verb (used without object)

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.

verb (used with object)

Archaic. to give ear to; hear.

Verb Phrases

listen in,
  1. to listen to a radio or television broadcast: Listen in tomorrow for the names of the lottery winners.
  2. to overhear a conversation or communication, especially by telephone; eavesdrop: Someone was listening in to his private calls.

Origin of listen

before 950; Middle English lis(t)nen, Old English hlysnan; cognate with Middle High German lüsenen, Swedish lyssna; akin to list5


1 See hear.


lis·ten·er, noun re·lis·ten, verb un·lis·ten·ing, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for listener

British Dictionary definitions for listener

/ (ˈlɪsən) /

verb (intr)

to concentrate on hearing something
to take heed; pay attention I told you many times but you wouldn't listen

Derived forms of listen

listener, noun

Word Origin for listen

Old English hlysnan; related to Old High German lūstrēn