Meaning of EAR in English


ear S2 W2 /ɪə $ ɪr/ BrE AmE noun

[ Sense 1,2: Language: Old English ; Origin: eare ]

[ Sense 3: Language: Old English ; Origin: ear ]

1 . PART OF YOUR BODY [countable] one of the organs on either side of your head that you hear with:

She tucked her hair behind her ears.

long-eared/short-eared etc

a long-eared rabbit

2 . GRAIN [countable] the top part of a plant such as wheat that produces grain

ear of

an ear of corn

3 . smile/grin etc from ear to ear to show that you are very happy or pleased by smiling a lot:

She came out of his office, beaming from ear to ear.

4 . reach somebody's ears if something reaches someone's ears, they hear about it or find out about it:

The news eventually reached the ears of the king.

5 . to somebody's ears used when saying how something sounds to someone:

It sounds odd to the ears of an ordinary English speaker.

6 . [singular] the ability to learn music, copy sounds etc

ear for

She has no ear for languages at all.

a good ear for dialogue

7 . a sympathetic ear used to say that someone listens sympathetically to what someone is saying:

He’s always prepared to lend a sympathetic ear.

8 . close/shut your ears to something to refuse to listen to bad or unpleasant news:

You can’t just close your ears to their warnings.

⇨ turn a deaf ear at ↑ deaf (4), ⇨ fall on deaf ears at ↑ deaf (5)

9 . be all ears informal to be very keen to hear what someone is going to tell you:

As soon as I mentioned money, Karen was all ears.

10 . be out on your ear informal to be forced to leave a job, organization etc, especially because you have done something wrong:

You’d better start working harder, or you’ll be out on your ear.

11 . be up to your ears in work/debt/problems etc to have a lot of work etc

12 . have something coming out (of) your ears informal to have too much of something:

We’ve got pumpkins coming out our ears this time of year.

13 . keep your/an ear to the ground to make sure that you always know what is happening in a situation

14 . keep your ears open to always be listening in order to find out what is happening or to hear some useful information:

I hope you’ll all keep your eyes and ears open for anything unusual.

15 . go in (at) one ear and out (at) the other informal if information goes in one ear and out the other, you forget it as soon as you have heard it:

I don’t know why I tell her anything. It just goes in one ear and out the other.

16 . give somebody a thick ear British English informal to hit someone on the ear:

Behave yourself or I’ll give you a thick ear!

17 . have sb’s ear to be trusted by someone so that they will listen to your advice, opinions etc:

He claimed to have the ear of several top ministers.

18 . play something by ear to play music that you have heard without having to read written music ⇨ play it by ear at ↑ play 1 (11)

19 . sb’s ears are burning used to say that someone thinks that people are talking about them

20 . sb’s ears are flapping British English spoken used to say that someone is trying to listen to your private conversation

⇨ ↑ dog-eared , ⇨ bend sb’s ear at ↑ bend 1 (7), ⇨ send somebody off with a flea in their ear at ↑ flea (2), ⇨ make a pig’s ear of at ↑ pig 1 (5), ⇨ prick (up) your ears at ↑ prick 1 (5), ⇨ wet behind the ears at ↑ wet 1 (7)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ big

African elephants' ears are bigger than those of Indian elephants.

▪ floppy (=soft and hanging down loosely, rather than being stiff)

a rabbit with big floppy ears

▪ pointy/pointed

The dog has short pointy ears.

▪ pierced (=with a hole in the skin where an earring can be put)

Her new boyfriend's got long hair and pierced ears.

▪ somebody's left/right ear

She is deaf in her right ear.

▪ inner/middle ear (=the parts inside your ear, which you use to hear sounds)

I've got an infection in my middle ear.

■ verbs

▪ say/whisper something into somebody's ear

He whispered something into his wife's ear.

▪ have your ears pierced (=have a hole put into the skin, so that you can wear an earring)

I had my ears pierced when I was quite young.

▪ somebody's ears stick out (=they are noticeable because they do not lie flat against someone's head)

If my hair is too short, you can see that my ears stick out.

▪ somebody's ears pop (=the pressure in them changes suddenly, for example when you go up or down quickly in a plane)

My ears finally popped when the plane landed.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.