Definition of eavesdrop in English:

eavesdrop

verb

[no object]
  • Secretly listen to a conversation.

    ‘my father eavesdropped on my phone calls’
    • ‘I know it is trivial, but you don't often get to eavesdrop on the private conversations of US presidents.’
    • ‘Do you stay at the door and eavesdrop on the conversation without letting anyone know you're there?’
    • ‘The idea is to allow people to communicate secure in the knowledge that nobody's eavesdropping on their conversation.’
    • ‘As I head home after a long, emotional day, I eavesdrop on some random conversations.’
    • ‘I eavesdropped on a conversation between two men seated next to me.’
    • ‘Why can't people be content to eavesdrop on the conversations around them?’
    • ‘How do I confront him without letting him know that I eavesdropped on his conversation?’
    • ‘We had to eavesdrop on people's conversations and their telephone calls.’
    • ‘An American spy plane flying over China was said to have eavesdropped on their conversation.’
    • ‘I move to a booth behind theirs and eavesdrop on their conversation.’
    • ‘But guards eavesdropped on my conversations, standing very close and attempting to intimidate me.’
    • ‘I wanted to listen to you live, as though I was eavesdropping on your conversation.’
    • ‘Trying to look like I was having fun jumping up and down, I secretly eavesdrop on their conversation.’
    • ‘Sent to his room by Aunt Lou, Joe eavesdrops on the conversation.’
    • ‘Also, the government can eavesdrop on any kind conversations these detainees have with their lawyers.’
    • ‘I was eavesdropping on his conversation with another dad and didn't quite catch it.’
    • ‘He watches a woman chase a runaway dog and eavesdrops on conversations even more banal than his prose.’
    • ‘I return to my seat long before the bell and eavesdrop on the conversation of the couple behind.’
    • ‘Inside the house he installed a monitoring system that taped all telephone calls and allowed him to eavesdrop on the conversation in any room.’
    • ‘Try eavesdropping on a conversation the next time you're on the bus.’
    listen in, spy, intrude
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: back-formation from eavesdropper ( late Middle English)‘a person who listens from under the eaves’, from the obsolete noun eavesdrop ‘the ground on to which water drips from the eaves’, probably from Old Norse upsardropi, from ups ‘eaves’ + dropi ‘a drop’.

Pronunciation

eavesdrop

/ˈiːvzdrɒp/