When you hear, you perceive a noise made by someone or something — like a person’s voice, the song of a bird, or the torturous sound of a ticking clock on a sleepless night.

While hear generally means to perceive a noise, it has several senses, including to listen carefully, as to a story. If you hear from someone, they have contacted you in some way, such as by phone call, email, or even snail mail. A judge will also hear a case when she presides over a trial. And when you hear the news, you’ve gotten information or found something out. But you didn’t hear it from me.

Definitions of hear
  1. verb
    perceive (sound) via the auditory sense
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    catch, overhear, take in
    hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers
    catch, get
    perceive by hearing
    type of:
    comprehend, perceive
    to become aware of through the senses
  2. verb
    receive a communication from someone
    “We heard nothing from our son for five years”
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    type of:
    pick up, receive
    register (perceptual input)
  3. verb
    get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally
    synonyms: discover, find out, get a line, get wind, get word, learn, pick up, see
    find, see, witness
    perceive or be contemporaneous with
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    get the goods
    discover some bad or hidden information about
    wise up
    get wise to
    catch, trip up
    detect a blunder or misstep
    learn or discover with certainty
    discover, find
    make a discovery
    rake up
    bring to light
    ascertain or learn the price of
    ferret, ferret out
    search and discover through persistent investigation
  4. verb
    listen and pay attention
    “We must hear the expert before we make a decision”
    synonyms: listen, take heed
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    bend or turn (one's ear) towards a speaker in order to listen well
    type of:
    center, centre, concentrate, focus, pore, rivet
    direct one's attention on something
  5. verb
    examine or hear (evidence or a case) by judicial process
    “The jury had heard all the evidence”
    synonyms: try
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    rehear, retry
    hear or try a court case anew
    type of:
    examine, probe
    question or examine thoroughly and closely
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