From Middle English listenen, listnen, alteration (due to Middle English listen (“to listen, give heed to”)) of Old English hlysnan (“to listen”), from Proto-Germanic *hlusnijaną, *hlusnōną (compare Middle High German lüsenen), from Proto-Germanic *hlusēną (compare Old High German hlosēn), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlew- (“to hear”) (compare Ancient Greek κλαίω (klaíō, “I make known, famous”), Welsh clywed (“to hear”), Latin clueō (“I am famous”), Lithuanian klausýti, Old Church Slavonic слушати (slušati, “to hear”), Sanskrit श्रोषति (śróṣati). Related to loud and German lauschen.
- enPR: lĭs'ən, lĭs'n, IPA(key): /ˈlɪs.ən/, [ˈlɪs.n̩]
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- Rhymes: -ɪsən
- Hyphenation: lis‧ten
listen (third-person singular simple present listens, present participle listening, simple past and past participle listened)
- (intransitive) To pay attention to a sound or speech.
- Please listen carefully as I explain. I like to listen to music.
- 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
- He read the letter aloud. Sophia listened with the studied air of one for whom, even in these days, a title possessed some surreptitious allurement.
- 2007, KT Tunstall (lyrics and music), “Saving My Face”, in Drastic Fantastic:
- I'm listening to what you say / Even though I look the other way / But you could never understand / The feeling of what I'm needing
- (intransitive) To expect or wait for a sound, such as a signal.
- You should listen for the starting gun.
- 1906, Stanley J[ohn] Weyman, chapter I, in Chippinge Borough, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., →OCLC, page 01:
- It was April 22, 1831, and a young man was walking down Whitehall in the direction of Parliament Street. […]. He halted opposite the Privy Gardens, and, with his face turned skywards, listened until the sound of the Tower guns smote again on the ear and dispelled his doubts.
- 1912 January, Zane Grey, chapter 4, in Riders of the Purple Sage […], New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, →OCLC:
- He reined Wrangle to a walk, halted now and then to listen, and then proceeded cautiously with shifting and alert gaze.
- (intransitive) To accept advice or obey instruction; to agree or assent.
- Listen, the only reason I yelled at you was because I was upset, OK? Good children listen to their parents.
- 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 1, in Animal Farm […], London: Secker & Warburg, →OCLC:
- Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest […].
- (transitive, archaic) To hear (something or someone), to pay attention to.
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XX:
- 'But, sir, lyars ye have lystened, and that hath caused grete debate betwyxte you and me.'
- 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene iii]:
- Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
- 1727, James Thomson, “Summer”, in The Seasons, London: […] A[ndrew] Millar, and sold by Thomas Cadell, […], published 1768, →OCLC:
- Here laid his Scrip, with wholesome Viands fill'd, / There, listening every Noise, his watchful Dog.
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XX:
In English, listen and hear are two primary verbs relating to audial perception. To hear represents automatic, unconscious, or passive perception of sound, while listen generally represents intentional, conscious, or purposeful use of the sense of hearing. The difference is expressed in the following quotation:
- As the silence took hold in the darkness, Sam realized that she had been hearing, though not listening to, various low-level sounds—the hum of air conditioning and life support, the pulse of some faraway oxygen pump, the faint buzz of the electrical and lighting systems. —Justin Richards (1999) Demontage, chapter 5, page 92.
A similar distinction exists between see and watch in English.
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:listen.
- (to pay attention): attend, behear, give ear, hark, hear, heed, list, mind, note, pay attention
- (to expect or wait for a sound): await, anticipate, expect, wait for
- (to accept advice or instruction): agree, assent, hearken, mind, obey
- (to hear): hear, mind, heed
- See also Thesaurus:listen
listen (plural listens)
- An instance of listening.
- Synonym: (of recorded audio) play
- Give the motor a listen and tell me if it sounds off.
- 2016 March 29, Victor Luckerson, “There's a New Way To Listen To All the Remixes You Want”, in Time:
- The diss song, “Back to Back,” now has more than 124 million listens, a sign that the streaming can attract a sizable audience for a single track.
listen m inan
- Plural form of list
listen (weak, third-person singular present listet, past tense listete, past participle gelistet, auxiliary haben)
|present||ich liste||wir listen||i||ich liste||wir listen|
|du listest||ihr listet||du listest||ihr listet|
|er listet||sie listen||er liste||sie listen|
|preterite||ich listete||wir listeten||ii||ich listete1||wir listeten1|
|du listetest||ihr listetet||du listetest1||ihr listetet1|
|er listete||sie listeten||er listete1||sie listeten1|
1Rare except in very formal contexts; alternative in würde normally preferred.
- Liste f
- “listen (eintragen, vorrätig haben)” in Duden online
- “listen (schmuggeln, tricksen)” in Duden online
- “listen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
- “listen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
- “listen” in OpenThesaurus.de
listen m or f
- inflection of listar: