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.

    • ‘I'm 31, and got my left ear pierced a couple of years ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Faith held the phone to her ear, listened to it ring, and waited for someone to pick up.’
    • ‘Surgeons are sometimes able to preserve some hearing in the ear being operated on, but this is rare.’
    • ‘"Mom," he said, plugging one ear with his index finger to hear her better.’
    • ‘Whales and pigeons can hear frequencies of sound far below the capacity of the human 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.’
    • ‘Eighteen months on, Oliver, now three, has no hearing in his left ear and limited hearing in his right ear.’
    • ‘Why scratch your left ear with your right hand?’
    • ‘I was so embarrassed that I could feel my ears burn red!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The balancing mechanism in the ear can be tested in various ways using vestibulometric tests.’
    • ‘So, she settled for plugging one ear with her finger and the other by squishing it against her shoulder.’
    • ‘I noticed that the girl's ears had reddened with embarrassment.’
    • ‘Within a few days, he completely lost hearing in his left ear.’
    • ‘He unconsciously leaned his ear towards the sound reverberating through the guitar and nodded as he tuned.’
    • ‘Middle ear infections and fluid in the ear are the most common causes of temporary hearing loss in children.’
    • ‘"I don't like this…" he muttered as he placed his sensitive ear against the door.’
    • ‘One night, a moth flew into my mom's ear while she was washing dishes.’
    organ of hearing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An organ sensitive to sound in other animals.
      • ‘Then she would have leaned over and stroked the mare's neck whispering sweet nothings in her ear as the animal pranced.’
      • ‘The voice is familiar to her and her cat ears perk up at the sound.’
      • ‘The very sad-looking pooch with one blue eye and one floppy ear on the story lead page is our beloved Luna.’
      • ‘There was a wolf sitting on the gleaming linoleum outside the office, head cocked, ears pricked.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2[in singular]An ability to recognize, appreciate, and reproduce sounds, especially music or language.
      ‘an ear for rhythm and melody’
      • ‘But with near sensory overload of sound, music and colour, not having an ear for the Danish language didn't matter.’
      • ‘Mom has a very finely tuned ear for music and languages.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A sensitive ear for voicing is needed to project the songful melodies effectively wherever they turn up in the texture.’
      • ‘My mom, being the rich socialite that she was, had an ear for gossip.’
      • ‘He's also got a pretty good ear for what makes an ear-pleasing folk song.’
      • ‘The duo play multiple instruments and both have an ear for finding rhythm tracks by recording clocks ticking, bells ringing and lawnmowers mowing.’
      • ‘Over the years, these keen listeners have developed an ear for every political innuendo and insinuation.’
      • ‘When describing settings, Petry has an eye for details, and when creating characters, an ear for dialogue.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The truth is he had no ear at all, and could not even carry a tune.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Brennan has a keen ear for dialogue, and the exchanges between Virginia and her family demonstrate this extremely well.’
      • ‘‘You know me, Michael, I have an ear for the truth as good as you do,’ Gilbert said.’
      • ‘He was also a magnificent writer with an ear for language and a wonderful imagination, and a fine poet to boot.’
    3. 1.3Used 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The girl he talked to was a listening ear, someone willing to share in his anxiety about an undeniably unsettling situation.’
      • ‘The third did offer a sympathetic ear but no practical solutions, other than to suggest to the claimant that he should prioritise his work.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Teenagers caught up in the turmoil of their parents' messy divorce are being offered a sympathetic ear by a new service in Winchester.’
      • ‘Just a couple of carefully worded questions, delivered in his soft Welsh voice, and patients would pour out their symptoms to his sympathetic ear.’
      • ‘"I'm there as a chaplain to listen with a sympathetic ear to any concerns they may have, " Yee said.’
      • ‘As for you, the membership, many of you have offered an ear to listen, time to reflect, and many hours of friendship and support.’
      • ‘In this instance all I can offer is company, a sympathetic ear and warm hugs - even if only from a distance at the moment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Vaughn listened with a patient ear, leaning back in his seat, asking a question or two when it was necessary.’
      • ‘She listened with an eager ear, thirsty for knowledge of a life better than her own.’
      • ‘He has been attending the Doctors and Dentists Group for many years, finding it a vital help, offering practical guidance and a sympathetic ear.’
      • ‘Sometimes you needed a friendly ear to listen to your troubles and worries and tell you that everything was going to be alright.’
      • ‘They are offering a sympathetic ear to farmers suffering in the present weather crisis.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What the bride needs more than anything else during this time is someone who will offer a sympathetic ear and practical advice.’
      • ‘She offers a sympathetic ear and reassuring guidance.’

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.’
    • ‘There was no significant difference in grain number per ear observed in unstressed plants of mutants.’
    • ‘The number of nodes on the most apical branch, which is an ear in normal plants, was counted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The A158 ear always has paired spikelets, one sessile and one pedicellate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The new growth - the young ear and stem segments of SS-FP was significantly slowed by the canopy cover.’
    • ‘The data from these five populations, each planted from an individual ear, are presented in Table 8.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Multiple endosperms from a single ear were combined for analysis.’
    • ‘It is most noticeable as grayish black galls on the ear of the plant.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In half of the plants, sink size was reduced by retaining only the five central spikelets of an ear.’
    1. 1.1North American A head of maize.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Place the ear of corn into a saucepan and cover with water.’
      • ‘And oh yeah, save her an ear of roasted corn and a cold frosty one for me, would ya?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hold the husked ear of corn upright in a deep, wide bowl.’
      • ‘With a sharp knife, slide the blade down the ear of corn removing kernels.’
      • ‘Virgo has been depicted as a winged maiden holding a palm branch in her left hand and an ear of corn in her right.’
      • ‘Place two potatoes, one lobster, a half pound clams and one ear corn on each piece.’
      • ‘In the piles were 10 red ears of corn and whoever found a red ear of corn got to kiss whoever they wanted to.’
      • ‘Last year I had corn earworm damage in just about every ear.’
      • ‘When an ear of corn is broken in half, the tip half shows the smooth endosperm.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

ear

/ɪə/