ear

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See also: EAR, -ear, 'ear, and èar

English[edit]

A human ear.

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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. The Proto-Germanic term is from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ous-. Compare Old Irish áu, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausìs, Russian у́хо (úxo), Albanian vesh, Ancient Greek οὖς (oûs), Old Armenian ունկն (unkn), Persian گوش (guš).

Noun[edit]

ear (plural ears)

  1. (countable) The organ of hearing, consisting of the pinna, auditory canal, eardrum, malleus, incus, stapes and cochlea.
  2. (countable) The external part of the organ of hearing, the auricle.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
      Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.
  3. (countable, slang) A police informant.
    • 1976, Stirling Silliphant, Dean Riesner, Gail Morgan Hickman, The Enforcer.
      No I'm not kidding, and if you don't give it to me I'll let it out that you’re an ear.
  4. The sense of hearing; the perception of sounds; the power of discriminating between different tones.
    • Tennyson
      songs [] not all ungrateful to thine ear
    a good ear for music
  5. The privilege of being kindly heard; favour; attention.
  6. That which resembles in shape or position the ear of an animal; a prominence or projection on an object, usually for support or attachment; a lug; a handle.
    the ears of a tub, skillet, or dish;   The ears of a boat are outside kneepieces near the bow.
  7. (architecture) An acroterium.
  8. (architecture) A crossette.
Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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Verb[edit]

ear (third-person singular simple present ears, present participle earing, simple past and past participle eared)

  1. (humorous) To take in with the ears; to hear.
    • Two Noble Kinsmen
      I eared her language.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From 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 ость (ostĭ, wheat spike, sharp point). More at edge.

Noun[edit]

ear (plural ears)

  1. (countable) The fruiting body of a grain plant.
    He is in the fields, harvesting ears of corn.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

ear (third-person singular simple present ears, present participle earing, simple past and past participle eared)

  1. (intransitive) To put forth ears in growing; to form ears, as grain does.
    This corn ears well.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old English erian, from Proto-Germanic *arjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂erh₃- (to plough).

Verb[edit]

ear (third-person singular simple present ears, present participle earing, simple past and past participle eared)

  1. (archaic) To plough.
    • 1595, William Shakespeare, Richard II:
      That power I have, discharge; and let them go
      To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
      For I have none.
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Akin to Old Norse aur.

Noun[edit]

ēar m

  1. sea
  2. earth

Etymology 2[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *ahaz, from Proto-Indo-European *ak (pointed).

Noun[edit]

ēar n

  1. ear (of corn)

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Noun[edit]

ear f

  1. east

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


West Frisian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Frisian āre, from the voiced Verner alternant of Proto-Germanic *ausô, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ows-. Compare English ear, Dutch oor, German Ohr, Danish øre.

Noun[edit]

ear n (plural earen, diminutive earke)

  1. ear