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

  • adj. Of or relating to the sense of hearing or the organs of hearing.
  • adj. Perceived by or spoken into the ear: an auricular confession.
  • adj. Shaped like an ear or an earlobe; having earlike parts or extensions.
  • adj. Of or relating to an auricle of the heart: auricular fibrillation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the ear
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the sense of hearing
  • adj. Told in the ear, i. e., told privately; as, auricular confession to the priest.
  • adj. Recognized by the ear; known by the sense of hearing; as, auricular evidence.
  • adj. Received by the ear; known by report.
  • adj. Pertaining to the auricles of the heart.
  • n. The little finger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the ear, or to the sense of hearing.
  • adj. Told in the ear, i. e., told privately.
  • adj. Recognized by the ear; known by the sense of hearing.
  • adj. Received by the ear; known by report.
  • adj. Pertaining to the auricles of the heart.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to the ear, or to the auricle of the ear; aural: as, the auricular nerve.
  • Used in connection with the ear: as, an auricular tube (which see, below).
  • Addressed to the ear; privately confided to one's ear, especially the ear of a priest: as, auricular confession.
  • Recognized or perceived by the ear; audible.
  • Communicated or known by report; hearsay.
  • Known or obtained by the sense of hearing: as, auricular evidence.
  • Ear-shaped; auriculate; auriform: as, the auricular articulating surface of the human ilium.
  • In echinoderms, of or pertaining to the auriculæ: as, an internal auricular process.
  • Pertaining to the auricle of the heart.
  • n. plural In ornithology, the auricular feathers.
  • n. The auricular or little finger. See auricular finger, above.

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

  • adj. relating to or perceived by or shaped like the organ of hearing
  • adj. of or relating to near the ear
  • adj. pertaining to an auricle of the heart


Middle English auriculer, spoken into the ear, from Late Latin auriculāris, from Latin auricula, ear; see auricle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin auricularis, from auricula + -aris. (Wiktionary)


  • Public confession, as made in the hearing of a number of people (e.g. a congregation) differs from private, or secret, confession which is made to the priest alone and is often called auricular, i.e., spoken into the ear of the confessor.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip

  • The depression behind the ear is called the auricular sulcus.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Its advertising purports that when the tiny pad with eight bumps is placed in the outer ear and massaged a few minutes each day, it helps customers lose weight through what ads call "auricular therapy" - an alternative medicine supposedly derived from acupuncture.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • If the idea of auricular Confession were then introduced for the first time, and Christians were not used to it, there would have been an uproar of protest throughout the whole Church.

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  • "pious opinion;" there were invocation of saints and worship of images, prayers for the dead, and holy water; but dispensations and indulgences were uninvented, the Inquisition was unknown, numbers of the clergy were married men, and that organ of tyranny and sin, termed auricular confession, had not yet been set up to grind the consciences and torment the hearts of those who sought to please God according to the light they enjoyed.

    One Snowy Night Long ago at Oxford

  • Less certain is the recorded use of knotted scourges in performing penance, and the existence of a peculiar kind of auricular confession.

    Anahuac : or, Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modern

  • God, but "one to another" -- a practice not favored by English catechumens -- (by the way, what _do_ you all mean by "auricular" confession -- confession that can be heard? and is the Protestant pleasanter form one that can't be?) (9.)

    On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature

  • A whisper in this place is very often of great use, as it serves to convey the most secret intelligence, which a lady would be ready to burst with, if she could not find vent for it by this kind of auricular confession.

    The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant

  • His winning word - auricular, meaning quite fittingly understood or recognized by the ear - earned him the prize of a trophy, $5,000 and most importantly, a trip to Ottawa for the national finals March 24-29. Music briefs

  • This and other observances, such as auricular confession and monastic institutions, were so mixed up with the worship of a great number of gods, at the head of which was the worship of the sun, and were associated with such horrid human sacrifices and pagan ceremonials, that it is more likely that they acquired the cross, with other pagan traditions handed down to them from a remote antiquity, from the common stock from whence both the inhabitants of the Eastern and Western hemispheres were descended.

    The Naturalist in Nicaragua


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