Listen Definition

listened, listening, listens
listened, listening, listens
To make a conscious effort to hear; attend closely, so as to hear.
Webster's New World
To pay attention to by listening; hear.
Webster's New World
To pay close attention; take advice.
Webster's New World

(archaic) To hear (something or someone), to pay attention to.


(intransitive) To expect or wait for a sound, such as a signal.

You should listen for the starting gun.
The act of listening.
Webster's New World
listen in
  • to listen to the conversation of others; esp., to eavesdrop
  • to listen to a broadcast
Webster's New World
listen up!
  • listen carefully! give me your attention!
Webster's New World

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Listen

Origin of Listen

  • From Middle English listnen, alteration (interpreted as frequentative of listen) from Old English hlysnan, from Proto-Germanic *hlūsinōną (compare Middle High German lüsenen), from *hlusēną (compare Old High German hlosēn), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlew- (“to hear”) (compare Ancient Greek κλαίω (klaiō, “I make known, famous”), Latin clueō (“I am famous”), Lithuanian klausýti, Old Church Slavonic слѹшати (slušati, “to hear”), Sanskrit श्रोषति (śróṣati). Related to loud.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English listenen alteration (influenced by listen to list, listen list4) of Old English hlysnan kleu- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

Find Similar Words

Find similar words to listen using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With