Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make an effort to hear something: listen to the radio; listening for the bell.
  • intransitive v. To pay attention; heed: "She encouraged me to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit” ( Maya Angelou).
  • n. An act of listening: Would you like to give the CD a listen before buying it?
  • listen in To listen to a conversation between others; eavesdrop.
  • listen in To tune in and listen to a broadcast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pay attention to a sound, to note.
  • v. To wait for a sound, such as a signal.
  • v. To accept or obey oral instruction; to agree or assent.
  • v. To hear (something or someone), to pay attention to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To give close attention with the purpose of hearing; to give ear; to hearken; to attend.
  • intransitive v. To give heed; to yield to advice; to follow admonition; to obey.
  • transitive v. To attend to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To attend closely with the design of hearing; give ear; harken; hence, to give heed; yield compliantly: as, to listen to reason.
  • To hear; attend to; give heed to.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. pay close attention to; give heed to
  • v. hear with intention
  • v. listen and pay attention

Etymologies

Middle English listenen, alteration (influenced by listen, to list, listen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English listnen, alteration (interpreted as frequentative of listen) from Old English hlysnan, from Proto-Germanic *hlūsinōnan (compare Middle High German lüsenen), from *hlusēnan (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 śróṣati). Related to loud. (Wiktionary)

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