Main definitions of ear in English

: ear1ear2

ear1

noun

  • 1The organ of hearing and balance in humans and other vertebrates, especially the external part of this.

    • ‘The balancing mechanism in the ear can be tested in various ways using vestibulometric tests.’
    • ‘I'm 31, and got my left ear pierced a couple of years ago.’
    • ‘Whales and pigeons can hear frequencies of sound far below the capacity of the human ear.’
    • ‘Surgeons are sometimes able to preserve some hearing in the ear being operated on, but this is rare.’
    • ‘Eighteen months on, Oliver, now three, has no hearing in his left ear and limited hearing in his right ear.’
    • ‘Within a few days, he completely lost hearing in his left ear.’
    • ‘Faith held the phone to her ear, listened to it ring, and waited for someone to pick up.’
    • ‘I noticed that the girl's ears had reddened with embarrassment.’
    • ‘Why scratch your left ear with your right hand?’
    • ‘I woke with my alarm sounding in my ear like every morning.’
    • ‘If the growth is large, then it may have caused more damage and this sometimes leads to some loss of hearing in the affected ear.’
    • ‘Tyler stood out even from this group with five earrings on each ear, two eyebrow rings on each eyebrow, four lip rings, and two tongue pierces.’
    • ‘He unconsciously leaned his ear towards the sound reverberating through the guitar and nodded as he tuned.’
    • ‘"I don't like this…" he muttered as he placed his sensitive ear against the door.’
    • ‘I was so embarrassed that I could feel my ears burn red!’
    • ‘"Mom," he said, plugging one ear with his index finger to hear her better.’
    • ‘Whispering softly into the patient's ear or holding a softly ticking wristwatch close to the ear can be helpful in making a gross evaluation of hearing.’
    • ‘So, she settled for plugging one ear with her finger and the other by squishing it against her shoulder.’
    • ‘Middle ear infections and fluid in the ear are the most common causes of temporary hearing loss in children.’
    • ‘One night, a moth flew into my mom's ear while she was washing dishes.’
    organ of hearing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An organ sensitive to sound in other animals.
      • ‘They then tattoo the inside of the ear of animals that they spay and neuter so that they do not try to operate more than once on the same stray animal.’
      • ‘The UK tag will show the flock number followed by the individual animal number and it is recommended that the tag is placed in the left ear of the animal.’
      • ‘The voice is familiar to her and her cat ears perk up at the sound.’
      • ‘They have a tragus, which can be folded back to seal the opening of the ear when the animal digs.’
      • ‘In many ways, the cetacean ear is radically different from the ear of terrestrial mammals.’
      • ‘The very sad-looking pooch with one blue eye and one floppy ear on the story lead page is our beloved Luna.’
      • ‘Then she would have leaned over and stroked the mare's neck whispering sweet nothings in her ear as the animal pranced.’
      • ‘Suddenly he tensed, his sharp wolf ears picking out movement in the sand.’
      • ‘At that point the sensitive hound ears picked up another presence and he bounded over to greet me.’
      • ‘There was a wolf sitting on the gleaming linoleum outside the office, head cocked, ears pricked.’
    2. 1.2[in singular] An ability to recognize, appreciate, and reproduce sounds, especially music or language:
      ‘an ear for rhythm and melody’
      • ‘When describing settings, Petry has an eye for details, and when creating characters, an ear for dialogue.’
      • ‘But with near sensory overload of sound, music and colour, not having an ear for the Danish language didn't matter.’
      • ‘It's a major work, an announcement from someone with an eye for beauty amidst squalor and an ear for the very real cadences of very specific slang and dialect.’
      • ‘He was also a magnificent writer with an ear for language and a wonderful imagination, and a fine poet to boot.’
      • ‘My mom, being the rich socialite that she was, had an ear for gossip.’
      • ‘Brennan has a keen ear for dialogue, and the exchanges between Virginia and her family demonstrate this extremely well.’
      • ‘The truth is he had no ear at all, and could not even carry a tune.’
      • ‘He also has an ear for sampling, using horns and steel drums as needed.’
      • ‘I had not a good voice nor, I confess it, a very good ear.’
      • ‘In fact, it sounded so good that it seemed as though someone with an ear for classical music was at the helm of this company and so we decided to investigate.’
      • ‘Over the years, these keen listeners have developed an ear for every political innuendo and insinuation.’
      • ‘The film was written by Laurence Coriat, who has an ear for the sort of unadorned, matter-of-fact dialogue that says a lot by what it leaves out.’
      • ‘A good sound technician and composer with an instinctive ear for music is vital.’
      • ‘‘You know me, Michael, I have an ear for the truth as good as you do,’ Gilbert said.’
      • ‘He loves the English language and has a keen ear for its music.’
      • ‘Hamilton delighted in Emma's ear for languages and music, and her theatrical flair, and in 1791 he contentedly married her.’
      • ‘He's also got a pretty good ear for what makes an ear-pleasing folk song.’
      • ‘Mom has a very finely tuned ear for music and languages.’
      • ‘A sensitive ear for voicing is needed to project the songful melodies effectively wherever they turn up in the texture.’
      • ‘The duo play multiple instruments and both have an ear for finding rhythm tracks by recording clocks ticking, bells ringing and lawnmowers mowing.’
      appreciation, discrimination, perception, musical taste
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Used to refer to a person's willingness to listen to others:
      ‘she offers a sympathetic ear to worried pet owners’
      • ‘No matter what you're talking about, the spinning red VRML cube has the patience to sit by and listen with an open ear.’
      • ‘As for you, the membership, many of you have offered an ear to listen, time to reflect, and many hours of friendship and support.’
      • ‘They are offering a sympathetic ear to farmers suffering in the present weather crisis.’
      • ‘Just a couple of carefully worded questions, delivered in his soft Welsh voice, and patients would pour out their symptoms to his sympathetic ear.’
      • ‘In this instance all I can offer is company, a sympathetic ear and warm hugs - even if only from a distance at the moment.’
      • ‘Teenagers caught up in the turmoil of their parents' messy divorce are being offered a sympathetic ear by a new service in Winchester.’
      • ‘She listened with an eager ear, thirsty for knowledge of a life better than her own.’
      • ‘She offers a sympathetic ear and reassuring guidance.’
      • ‘The third did offer a sympathetic ear but no practical solutions, other than to suggest to the claimant that he should prioritise his work.’
      • ‘Vaughn listened with a patient ear, leaning back in his seat, asking a question or two when it was necessary.’
      • ‘Sometimes you needed a friendly ear to listen to your troubles and worries and tell you that everything was going to be alright.’
      • ‘"I'm there as a chaplain to listen with a sympathetic ear to any concerns they may have, " Yee said.’
      • ‘Trey listened with a patient ear, only making distance with the receiver when she whined or couldn't make out her blubbering.’
      • ‘He's gone all soppy, crying because he misses Saskia and being a kind ear to listen to all Craig's miserable longings.’
      • ‘He had spent more time around her, doing nice things for her and just offering her a lending ear to listen to her and a shoulder to cry on when she needed it.’
      • ‘The girl he talked to was a listening ear, someone willing to share in his anxiety about an undeniably unsettling situation.’
      • ‘It offered not only a sympathetic ear but also structured advice on what to do next, and helped us through the maze of local authority and social services applications.’
      • ‘If I didn't have a shoulder to lean on or a compassionate ear willing to listen to me rant, I might've been tempted to quit.’
      • ‘He has been attending the Doctors and Dentists Group for many years, finding it a vital help, offering practical guidance and a sympathetic ear.’
      • ‘What the bride needs more than anything else during this time is someone who will offer a sympathetic ear and practical advice.’

Origin

Old English ēare, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch oor and German Ohr, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin auris and Greek ous.

Pronunciation:

ear

/ɪə/

Main definitions of ear in English

: ear1ear2

ear2

noun

  • 1The seed-bearing head or spike of a cereal plant.

    • ‘Plants were allowed to open-pollinate and all measurements were taken on plants with a fertilized ear.’
    • ‘In the case of cereals, grain is the primary yield and total production depends on the number of plants per area, tillers per plant, number of ears per tiller, grains per ear and mass per grain.’
    • ‘The data from these five populations, each planted from an individual ear, are presented in Table 8.’
    • ‘It is most noticeable as grayish black galls on the ear of the plant.’
    • ‘This ear to ear variation was probably due largely to sporadic male sterility which resulted in a small but apparently significant reduction in the number of grains per ear in some plants.’
    • ‘In this case, the phenotypic description included the measurements of the length of the awn considering those of the more distal spikelets of the ear.’
    • ‘Multiple endosperms from a single ear were combined for analysis.’
    • ‘Measurements were conducted at 20°C at the second leaf of seedlings and at 25°C at the second leaf above the ear during flowering.’
    • ‘In half of the plants, sink size was reduced by retaining only the five central spikelets of an ear.’
    • ‘The A158 ear always has paired spikelets, one sessile and one pedicellate.’
    • ‘The new growth - the young ear and stem segments of SS-FP was significantly slowed by the canopy cover.’
    • ‘The number of nodes on the most apical branch, which is an ear in normal plants, was counted.’
    • ‘There was no significant difference in grain number per ear observed in unstressed plants of mutants.’
    1. 1.1North American A head of maize.
      • ‘And oh yeah, save her an ear of roasted corn and a cold frosty one for me, would ya?’
      • ‘Until I do, keep an eye out for me at the movies, in the record shops, or simply in the supermarket shopping for a good ear of sweet corn.’
      • ‘An average ear of corn weighs from 10 to 14 ounces and yields about 1 cup of kernels.’
      • ‘The dignity inherent in the farmer's labour is enhanced rather than diminished as he turns every tenth ear of corn over to support those who labour in a different field.’
      • ‘Raccoons' habit of moving on to the next ear of corn before finishing the first makes them especially damaging to fields of both sweet corn and field corn.’
      • ‘With a sharp knife, slide the blade down the ear of corn removing kernels.’
      • ‘Place the ear of corn into a saucepan and cover with water.’
      • ‘Last year I had corn earworm damage in just about every ear.’
      • ‘By sticking an ear of dried corn on top, he lured squirrels to charge up the board and then spin around for a dizzying ride.’
      • ‘When an ear of corn is broken in half, the tip half shows the smooth endosperm.’
      • ‘In the piles were 10 red ears of corn and whoever found a red ear of corn got to kiss whoever they wanted to.’
      • ‘Hold the husked ear of corn upright in a deep, wide bowl.’
      • ‘Place two potatoes, one lobster, a half pound clams and one ear corn on each piece.’
      • ‘Virgo has been depicted as a winged maiden holding a palm branch in her left hand and an ear of corn in her right.’

Origin

Old English ēar, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aar and German Ähre.

Pronunciation:

ear

/ɪə/