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

  • n. Anatomy The vertebrate organ of hearing, responsible for maintaining equilibrium as well as sensing sound and divided in mammals into the external ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.
  • n. Anatomy The part of this organ that is externally visible.
  • n. An invertebrate organ analogous to the mammalian ear.
  • n. The sense of hearing: a sound that grates on the ear.
  • n. Sensitivity or receptiveness to sound, especially:
  • n. Sharpness or refinement of hearing: a singer with a good ear for harmony.
  • n. The ability to play a passage of music solely from hearing it: plays the piano by ear.
  • n. Responsiveness to the sounds or forms of spoken language: a writer with a good ear for dialogue; has an ear for foreign languages.
  • n. Sympathetic or favorable attention: "[The President] wavers between the two positions, depending on who last had his ear” ( Joseph C. Harsch).
  • n. Something resembling the external ear in position or shape, especially:
  • n. A flexible tuft of feathers located above the eyes of certain birds, such as owls, that functions in visual communication but not in hearing. Also called ear tuft.
  • n. A projecting handle, as on a vase or pitcher.
  • n. A small box in the upper corner of the page in a newspaper or periodical that contains a printed notice, such as promotional material or weather information.
  • n. Informal Headphones.
  • idiom all ears Acutely attentive: Tell your story-we're all ears!
  • idiom coming out of (one's) ears In more than adequate amounts; overabundant.
  • idiom give To pay close attention; listen attentively.
  • idiom have To be on the watch for new trends or information.
  • idiom in one ear and out the other Without any influence or effect; unheeded: His mind was made up, so my arguments went in one ear and out the other.
  • idiom its In a state of amazement, excitement, or uproar: a controversial movie that set the film industry on its ear.
  • idiom play it by ear To act according to the circumstances; improvise: "He plays his negotiations by ear, going into them with no clear or fixed plan” ( George F. Kennan).
  • idiom up to (one's) ears Deeply involved or occupied fully: I'm up to my ears in work.
  • n. The seed-bearing spike of a cereal plant, such as corn.
  • intransitive v. To form or grow ears.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The organ of hearing, consisting of the pinna, auditory canal, eardrum, malleus, incus, stapes and cochlea.
  • n. The external part of the organ of hearing, the auricle.
  • n. A police informant.
  • n. The fruiting body of a grain plant.
  • v. To plough.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The organ of hearing; the external ear.
  • n. The sense of hearing; the perception of sounds; the power of discriminating between different tones; ; -- in the singular only.
  • n. That which resembles in shape or position the ear of an animal; any prominence or projection on an object, -- usually one for support or attachment; a lug; a handle. The ears of a boat are outside kneepieces near the bow. See Illust. of Bell.
  • n.
  • n. Same as Acroterium.
  • n. Same as Crossette.
  • n. Privilege of being kindly heard; favor; attention.
  • n. The spike or head of any cereal (as, wheat, rye, barley, Indian corn, etc.), containing the kernels.
  • intransitive v. To put forth ears in growing; to form ears, as grain.
  • transitive v. To take in with the ears; to hear.
  • transitive v. To plow or till; to cultivate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To listen to; hear with attention.
  • To shoot, as an ear; form ears, as corn.
  • To cultivate with a plow; plow; till.
  • Early.
  • n. The organ of hearing; the apparatus of audition; the acoustic sense-organ; any mechanism by which an animal receives the impact of sound-waves and perceives them as sound.
  • n. The external ear alone, known as the pinna, auricle, or concha: as, the horse laid his ears back.
  • n. In ornithology: The auriculars or packet of auricular feathers which cover the external ear-passage of a bird.
  • n. A plumicorn or corniplume; one of the “horns” of an owl.
  • n. The sense of hearing; the power of distinguishing sounds; the power of nice perception of the differences of sound.
  • n. Specifically, in music, the capacity to appreciate, analyze, and reproduce musical compositions by hearing them; sensitiveness to musical intonation and to differences of pitch and quality in musical sounds: as, a correct ear. Sometimes called a musical ear.
  • n. A careful or favorable hearing; attention; heed.
  • n. Disposition to listen; judgment; taste.
  • n. A part of any inanimate object having some likeness to the external ear.
  • n. In architecture, same as crosset, 1 .
  • n. An aural instrument for the use of very deaf persons. It has a large pavilion secured by a swivel to a stand upon the floor, and an elastic tube with a nozle to be held to the ear.
  • n. A spike or head of corn or grain; that part of a cereal plant which contains the flowers and seed.
  • n. A kidney.
  • n.

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

  • n. attention to what is said
  • n. the externally visible cartilaginous structure of the external ear
  • n. fruiting spike of a cereal plant especially corn
  • n. good hearing
  • n. the sense organ for hearing and equilibrium


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

Middle English ere, from Old English ēare; see ous- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English ere, from Old English ēar.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English ere, ȝhere, from Old English ēare ("ear"), from the voiced Verner alternant of Proto-Germanic *ausô (“ear”) (compare Scots ear, West Frisian ear, Dutch oor, German Ohr, Swedish öra, Danish øre), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ous- (compare Old Irish áu, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausìs, Russian ухо (úxo), Albanian vesh, Ancient Greek οὖς (oûs), Armenian ունկն (unkn), Persian گوش (guš) ).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English er, from Old English ēar, from Proto-Germanic *ahaz (compare West Frisian ier, Dutch aar, German Ähre), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ék- 'sharp' (compare Latin acus 'needle; husk', Tocharian B āk 'ear, awn', Old Church Slavonic ostĭ 'wheat spike, sharp point'). More at edge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English erian



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