from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The seed-bearing spike of a cereal plant, such as corn.
  • intransitive verb To form or grow ears.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The part of this organ that is externally visible.
  • noun An invertebrate organ analogous to the mammalian ear.
  • noun The sense of hearing.
  • noun Sensitivity or receptiveness to sound, especially.
  • noun Sharpness or refinement of hearing.
  • noun The ability to play a passage of music solely from hearing it.
  • noun Responsiveness to the sounds or forms of spoken language.
  • noun Sympathetic or favorable attention.
  • noun Something resembling the external ear in position or shape, especially.
  • noun A flexible tuft of feathers located above the eyes of certain birds, such as owls, that functions in visual communication but not in hearing.
  • noun A projecting handle, as on a vase or pitcher.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Informal Headphones.
  • idiom (all ears) Acutely attentive.
  • idiom (coming out of (one's) ears) In more than adequate amounts; overabundant.
  • idiom (give/lend) To pay close attention; listen attentively.
  • idiom (have/keep) To be on the watch for new trends or information.
  • idiom (in one ear and out the other) Without any influence or effect; unheeded.
  • idiom (its/someone's) In a state of amazement, excitement, or uproar.
  • idiom (up to (one's) ears) Deeply involved or occupied fully.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Early.
  • noun A spike or head of corn or grain; that part of a cereal plant which contains the flowers and seed.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The external ear alone, known as the pinna, auricle, or concha: as, the horse laid his ears back.
  • noun In ornithology: The auriculars or packet of auricular feathers which cover the external ear-passage of a bird.
  • noun A plumicorn or corniplume; one of the “horns” of an owl.
  • noun The sense of hearing; the power of distinguishing sounds; the power of nice perception of the differences of sound.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A careful or favorable hearing; attention; heed.
  • noun Disposition to listen; judgment; taste.
  • noun A part of any inanimate object having some likeness to the external ear.
  • noun In architecture, same as crosset, 1 .
  • noun 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.
  • To shoot, as an ear; form ears, as corn.
  • To cultivate with a plow; plow; till.
  • noun A kidney.
  • To listen to; hear with attention.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To put forth ears in growing; to form ears, as grain.
  • noun The spike or head of any cereal (as, wheat, rye, barley, Indian corn, etc.), containing the kernels.
  • transitive verb Sportive To take in with the ears; to hear.
  • noun The organ of hearing; the external ear.
  • noun The sense of hearing; the perception of sounds; the power of discriminating between different tones; ; -- in the singular only.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Same as Acroterium.


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

[Middle English ere, from Old English ēar; see ak- in Indo-European roots.]

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

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

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

Old English erian

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.


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