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

  • noun The sense by which sound is perceived; the capacity to hear.
  • noun Range of audibility; earshot.
  • noun An opportunity to be heard.
  • noun A legal proceeding in which evidence is taken and arguments are given as the basis for a decision to be issued, either on some preliminary matter or on the merits of the case.
  • noun A session, as of an investigatory committee or a grand jury, at which testimony is taken from witnesses.
  • adjective Able to hear.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Perception of sound; the act of perceiving sound; the faculty or sense by which sound is perceived; audition: one of the five external senses. See ear.
  • noun Audience; opportunity to be heard.
  • noun A judicial investigation of a suit at law; attention to and consideration of the testimony and arguments in a cause between parties, with a view to a just decision: especially used of trial without a jury.
  • noun Distance within which sound may be heard; ear-shot: as, he was not within hearing.
  • noun A scolding; a lecture.
  • noun Something heard; something to hear; report; news.
  • noun Attendance on preaching.

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

  • noun The act or power of perceiving sound; perception of sound; the faculty or sense by which sound is perceived.
  • noun Attention to what is delivered; opportunity to be heard; audience.
  • noun A listening to facts and evidence, for the sake of adjudication; a session of a court for considering proofs and determining issues.
  • noun Extent within which sound may be heard; sound; earshot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Able to hear.
  • noun uncountable The sense used to perceive sound.
  • noun uncountable A proceeding at which discussions are heard.
  • noun countable, law A legal procedure done before a judge, without a jury, as with an evidentiary hearing.

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

  • adjective able to perceive sound
  • noun an opportunity to state your case and be heard
  • noun a session (of a committee or grand jury) in which witnesses are called and testimony is taken
  • noun the range within which a voice can be heard
  • noun (law) a proceeding (usually by a court) where evidence is taken for the purpose of determining an issue of fact and reaching a decision based on that evidence
  • noun the act of hearing attentively
  • noun the ability to hear; the auditory faculty


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

    November 27, 2007

  • Presumably the court maintains a hearing-hearing-aid for such occasions.

    November 27, 2007

  • Or at least an ear trumpet!

    November 27, 2007

  • Or...oh, I don't know, this is just off the top of my interpreter.

    November 27, 2007

  • And maybe some earrings just to be safe.

    November 27, 2007

  • Now if a lawyer was harranguing a wholly hard-of-hearing herring, who played the harp but was arraigned for whoring, ...

    November 27, 2007

  • *groan*

    November 27, 2007

  • ... it would be a wholly hard-of-hearing harping herring whoring hearing harranguing.

    Now, if ...

    November 28, 2007

  • Okay, okay. I think I get it. The lawyer who was haranguing the wholly hard-of-hearing harping herring at the hearing for whoring must have been a hardheaded, herringbone-wearing harrower, all right.

    Anyone for a horehound drop?

    November 28, 2007

  • You're my hero.

    November 28, 2007

  • Please, please. It was nearly all bilby's work. :-)

    November 28, 2007

  • You know, haversack is strangely absent here.

    November 29, 2007

  • Not anymore! ;-)

    November 29, 2007