• WordNet 3.6
    • n ear the sense organ for hearing and equilibrium
    • n ear the externally visible cartilaginous structure of the external ear
    • n ear good hearing "he had a keen ear","a good ear for pitch"
    • n ear attention to what is said "he tried to get her ear"
    • n ear fruiting spike of a cereal plant especially corn
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A boy covers his ears while a girl plays the piano A boy covers his ears while a girl plays the piano
Another Took Me by the Ear 285 Another Took Me by the Ear 285
With all her womanly faith, and all her ear-rings and breast-pins, etc., etc With all her womanly faith, and all her ear-rings and breast-pins, etc., etc
The boy grabs the hare by the ears The boy grabs the hare by the ears
"Nestie whispered something in Speug's ear." "Nestie whispered something in Speug's ear."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A cat has 32 muscles in each ear
    • Ear Privilege of being kindly heard; favor; attention. "Dionysius . . . would give no ear to his suit.""Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears ."
    • Ear (Arch) Same as Acroterium.
    • Ear (Arch) Same as Crossette.
    • Ear That which resembles in shape or position the ear of an animal; any prominence or projection on an object, -- usually one for support or attachment; a lug; a handle; as, the ears of a tub, a skillet, or dish. The ears of a boat are outside kneepieces near the bow. See Illust. of Bell.
    • Ear The organ of hearing; the external ear.
    • Ear The sense of hearing; the perception of sounds; the power of discriminating between different tones; as, a nice ear for music; -- in the singular only. "Songs . . . not all ungrateful to thine ear ."
    • n Ear The spike or head of any cereal (as, wheat, rye, barley, Indian corn, etc.), containing the kernels. "First the blade, then the ear , after that the full corn in the ear ."
    • v. t Ear To plow or till; to cultivate. "To ear the land."
    • v. i Ear To put forth ears in growing; to form ears, as grain; as, this corn ears well.
    • v. t Ear To take in with the ears; to hear. "I eared her language."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The average ear grows 0.01 inches in length every year
    • n ear The organ of hearing; the apparatus of audition; the acoustic sense-organ; any mechanism by which an animal receives the impact of sound-waves and perceives them as sound. In man and mammals generally the ear consists of an external ear, which comprises the more or less funnel-shaped pinna and the external auditory meatus; of a middle ear, ear-drum, or tympanum, closed from the external auditory meatus by the tympanic membrane, traversed by a chain of small boues, the auditory ossicles, named malleus, incus, and stapes, and communicating with the pharynx by the Eustachian tube; and of an internal ear, or labyrinth, the essential organ of hearing, containing the end-organs of the auditory nerve. The labyrinth consists of a complicated closed sac, the membranous labyrinth, lined with epithelium and lying in a roughly corresponding excavation in the petrous bone, the bony labyrinth. The membranous labyrinth contains a limpid fluid, the endolymph, and between the membranous labyrinth and the bony labyrinth is a similar liquid called perilymph. The auditory nerve, penetrating the bone by the internal auditory meatus, is distributed to the walls of the membranous labyrinth. The labyrinth is completely shut off from the tympanum, but there are two fenestræ or openings, closed by membranes, in the tympanic wall of the bony labyrinth, and the foot of the stapes is applied to one of them. Sound-waves which impinge upon the tympanic membrane are transmitted across the tympanum by the chain of auditory ossicles, and thence into the labyrinth. In vertebrates below mammals the ear at once becomes simplified, as by lack of an external ear and reduction of the ossicles and of the labyrinth, the latter being simply ligulate or strapshaped; and, as in fishes, the inner ear may contain one or more concretions, sometimes of great size, called otoliths or ear-stones. An ear of some kind is recognizable in the great majority of invertebrates. In its simplest recognizable expression it is a mere capsule or vesicle, containing some hard body answering to an otolith, and so supposed to have an auditory function. See cochlea, labyrinth, and cut under tympanic.
    • n ear The external ear alone, known as the pinna, auricle, or concha: as, the horse laid his ears back.
    • n ear In ornithology: The auriculars or packet of auricular feathers which cover the external ear-passage of a bird.
    • n ear A plumicorn or corniplume; one of the “horns” of an owl.
    • n ear The sense of hearing; the power of distinguishing sounds; the power of nice perception of the differences of sound.
    • n ear Specifically, in music, the capacity to appreciate, analyze, and reproduce musical compositions by hearing them; sensitiveness to musical intonation and to differences of pitch and quality in musical sounds: as, a correct ear. Sometimes called a musical ear.
    • n ear A careful or favorable hearing; attention; heed.
    • n ear Disposition to listen; judgment; taste.
    • n ear A part of any inanimate object having some likeness to the external ear. A projection from the side of a vessel or utensil made to be used as a handle: as, the ears of a jar, pitcher, or other vessel.
    • n ear In architecture, same as crosset, 1 .
    • n ear An aural instrument for the use of very deaf persons. It has a large pavilion secured by a swivel to a stand upon the floor, and an elastic tube with a nozle to be held to the ear.
    • ear To listen to; hear with attention.
    • n ear A spike or head of corn or grain; that part of a cereal plant which contains the flowers and seed.
    • ear To shoot, as an ear; form ears, as corn.
    • ear To cultivate with a plow; plow; till.
    • ear Early.
    • n ear A kidney.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Grasping your ears is a sign of repentance or sincerity in India.
    • n Ear ēr a spike, as of corn
    • v.i Ear to put forth ears
    • v.t Ear ēr (obs.) to plough or till
    • n Ear ēr the organ of hearing, or the external part merely: the sense or power of hearing: the faculty of distinguishing sounds: attention: anything like an ear
    • v.t Ear to put an earmark on
    • v.t Ear to gain the ear of: to bias: to torment by private importunities (A.S. éarwicga, éare, ear, wicga, earwig)
    • ***


  • Lord Byron
    “No ear can hear nor tongue can tell the tortures of the inward hell!”
  • Lord Byron
    “He scratched his ear, the infallible resource to which embarrassed people have recourse.”
  • Horace
    “What we learn only through the ears makes less impression upon our minds than what is presented to the trustworthy eye.”
  • German Proverb
    German Proverb
    “It is better to trust the eyes rather than the ears.”
  • George Meredith
    “She poured a little social sewage into his ears.”
  • Joan Didion
    “Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.”


All ears - If someone says they're all ears, they are very interested in hearing about something.
Be all ears - If you are all ears, you are very eager to hear what someone has to say.
Bend someone's ear - To bend someone's ear is to talk to someone about something for a long-enough period that it becomes tiresome for the listener.
Cloth ears - If you don't listen to people, they may suggest you have cloth ears.
Dog-eared - If a book is dog-eared, it is in bad condition, with torn pages, etc.
From your lips to God's ears - When you say this to someone, it means that you hope what they are saying will come true.
In one ear and out the other - If something goes in one ear and out the other, you forget it as soon as you've heard it because it was too complicated, boring etc.
Keep your ear to the ground - If you keep your ear to the ground, you try to keep informed about something, especially if there are rumours or uncertainties.
Lend an ear - If you lend an ear, you listen to what someone has to say. ('Lend your ear' is an alternative form.)
Little pitchers have big ears - (USA) This means that children hear more and understand the world around them better than many adults realize.
Make a pig's ear - If you make a pig's ear of something, you make a mess of it.
Music to my ears - If something someone says is music to your ears, it is exactly what you had wanted to hear.
Play by ear - If you play by ear, you deal with something in an impromptu manner, without guidelines or rules. It refers to playing music without using written notation.
Play it by ear - If you play it by ear, you don't have a plan of action, but decide what to do as events take shape.
Prick up your ears - If you prick up your ears, you listen very carefully. ('Pick up your ears' is also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. eáre,; akin to OFries. áre, ár, OS. ra, D. oor, OHG. ra, G. ohr, Icel. eyra, Sw. öra, Dan. öre, Goth. auso, L. auris, Lith. ausis, Russ. ukho, Gr. ; cf. L. audire, to hear, Gr. , Skr. av, to favor , protect. Cf. Auricle Orillon


In literature:

The ears, eyes, and face should have an expression of alertness and good breeding.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
His hair is thin and red, and he has sharp and long hoofs, his ears being fringed with soft silky hair.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
Just then a livelier sound saluted my ears.
"Rookwood" by William Harrison Ainsworth
Aladdin was a boy like himself, who was scolded, and cuffed on the ears.
"The Rich Little Poor Boy" by Eleanor Gates
When the hanker ketches me and I can't get to stror'b'ries my stror'b'ry mark shows up behind my ear.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
Lop-eared rabbits, with their ears hanging flat down on each side of the face, do not transmit this character at all truly.
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I." by Charles Darwin
The deep booming note, sinister to the last degree, came clearly to their ears.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
The assembly was all eye and ear, and some were absolutely paralysed with wonder.
"Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2)" by John Roby
He pricked up his ears and made a wry face.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
That was grinning from ear to ear, and Oo!
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry

In poetry:

"And he hears
In his ears
The voice of Life's river,
Like a song
Of the strong,
Jubilant ever!
"Abu Midjan" by George MacDonald
Keep my flesh and spirit,
Eyes and ears and speech,
Taste and touch and feeling,
Sanctify them each.
"Pro Castitate" by Digby Mackworth Dolben
Where is the land I loved in ?
What music did I sing
That left my ears enchanted
Inside the fairy ring ?
"The Man Who Trod On Sleeping Grass" by Dora Sigerson Shorter
Again I kneel, again I pray:
Wilt thou be God to me?
Wilt thou give ear to what I say,
And lift me up to thee?
"The Disciple" by George MacDonald
The patt'ring of his little feet,
In fancy's ear is heard,
The music of his voice as sweet,
As singing of a bird.
"On The Death of a Child" by James McCauley
"Let your ears be opened wide!
He who speaks has never lied.
Waldron of Piscataqua,
Hear what Squando has to say!
"The Truce of Piscataqua" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

If I remember Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear for love and I don't think that worked out to well.
How about a bit of ear candy.
If you've recently been sick of the overplayed pop music on the radio, then turning your ears south to Marin might be the choice for you.
Very small split on one ear.
Now It Comes With Ears.
New local band to perform at Pajama Factory and Pigs Ear.
Will Husted call for vote reform fall on deaf ears.
Goshen's Foreman lets questions of obstacles fall on deaf ears.
Swift action - and music falls on deaf ears.
Christie's appeal for bipartisanship on taxes falls on deaf ears among angry Democrats.
Deaf ears for Lance Briggs' complaints.
Adobe Flash Response Lands on Apple's Deaf Ears.
Parents' requests land on deaf ears, some say.
A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears.
The gene helps operate the delicate hair cells in the ear that respond to sound vibrations.

In science:

Even if the agent has no way of finding ears, and thus no way of constructing C (cid:63) as we did above, it can use the fact that there has to be at least one class that forms a clique in Gvis .
Simple Agents Learn to Find Their Way: An Introduction on Mapping Polygons
In other cases it might be possible to identify ears, and therefore it might be possible to explicitly construct C (cid:63) by repeatedly cutting off classes of vertices.
Simple Agents Learn to Find Their Way: An Introduction on Mapping Polygons
Each case enumerates a possible selection of an ear edge and resulting sequence of necessary edge guards selected.
Hidden Mobile Guards in Simple Polygons
The guard inside the cave is unable to see either ear.
Hidden Mobile Guards in Simple Polygons
Guarding one ear using a second guard results in an unguarded region in the other ear, and no hidden guard choices remaining.
Hidden Mobile Guards in Simple Polygons