overhear

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English *overheren, from Old English oferhȳran, oferhīeran (to overhear, hear, disobey, disregard, neglect), equivalent to over- +‎ hear. Cognate with Dutch overhoren (to hear, hear about), German überhören (to not hear, ignore), Danish overhøre (to overhear), Icelandic yfirheyra (to hear), Gothic *𐌿𐍆𐌰𐍂𐌷𐌰𐌿𐍃𐌾𐌰𐌽 (*ufarhausjan, to disregard, disobey) (in 𐌿𐍆𐌰𐍂𐌷𐌰𐌿𐍃𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃 (ufarhauseins)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

overhear (third-person singular simple present overhears, present participle overhearing, simple past and past participle overheard)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To hear something that was not meant for one's ears.
    I was hanging clothes in the garden and I overheard the neighbours talking about Sheila's pregnancy.

Synonyms[edit]

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