part of speech: verb
inflections: hears, hearing, heard
definition 1: to receive sound with the ears.
- Can you hear the ocean?
definition 2: to be told about; learn.
- I heard he was coming back to town.
definition 3: to listen to carefully.
- Please hear what I have to say.
synonyms: listen to
definition 4: to receive a letter, phone call, or other information from another.
- He heard from his sister yesterday.
definition 5: to experience an event by perceiving it with your ears.
- Did you hear the President’s speech last night?
- I heard a great song on the radio this morning.
derivation: hearer (n.)
hear or listen?
We use hear when we are talking about the action of our ears as they receive sound. If a sound is loud enough and our ears can function, then we hear it. We use listen when we decide to hear something and then pay attention to it. But there is another meaning of hear, which is to experience something by using your ears. This meaning of hear may seem similar to the meaning of listen and can be confusing. When you listen to something, you are simply paying attention to the sounds that come to your ears, but when you hear something (in this meaning) you get knowledge and experience of a whole event, such as a song, a concert, a recording. If you’ve heard something, you know it and you can now talk about it.
We can hear our neighbor’s music in our apartment.
Come and listen to this song!
I can hear their conversation, but I’m not listening to it.
I never listen to the weather report.
We went to the theater to hear a concert.