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the group of spectators at a public event; listeners or viewers collectively, as in attendance at a theater or concert:
The audience was respectful of the speaker’s opinion.
the persons reached by a book, radio or television broadcast, etc.; public:
Some works of music have a wide and varied audience.
a regular public that manifests interest, support, enthusiasm, or the like; a following:
Every art form has its audience.
opportunity to be heard; chance to speak to or before a person or group; a hearing.
a formal interview with a sovereign, high officer of government, or other high-ranking person:
an audience with the pope.
the act of hearing, or attending to, words or sounds.
Contemporary Examples

And audiences almost always judge who they believe to be the more aggressive debater as the victor.
Mitt Romney Offense Trumped Barack Obama Defense in Presidential Debate Brett O’Donnell October 3, 2012

The Buzz: If Bright Star and its two young stars catch on with audiences, it could last through Oscar season.
Cannes’ Eight Buzziest Films Anne Thompson May 18, 2009

That audiences willingly engage in some level of disbelief suspension is a cinematic given.
The Witty Genius of YouTube’s CinemaSins: Everything Wrong with Your Favorite Movie Rich Goldstein April 2, 2014

Some highlights: By now audiences are savvy enough to realize that no reality show is absent some degree of manipulation.
Why Real Comedians Hate Last Comic Standing Gregory Gilderman June 21, 2010

Despite all protests to the contrary, audiences love advanced knowledge of a dramatic work and its intricate plot details.
Is the New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy the Story of the Solo Twins and Darth Caedus? Rich Goldstein March 25, 2014

Historical Examples

It is easy to divine what questions were discussed at these audiences.
The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) Anatole France

We hear of no more disturbances; the fact was that the audiences were too thin to be noisy.
Handel Edward J. Dent

The audiences cheered and cried and let themselves go in the hysterical manner of people wrought up by great national excitements.
Memoirs of an American Prima Donna Clara Louise Kellogg

It is one of the penalties of Protestantism that the audiences, after a while, outgrow the preacher.
The American Mind Bliss Perry

In those days audiences liked plenty for their money, and a Shakespeare play was not nearly long enough to fill the bill.
The Story of My Life Ellen Terry

a group of spectators or listeners, esp at a public event such as a concert or play
the people reached by a book, film, or radio or television programme
the devotees or followers of a public entertainer, lecturer, etc; regular public
an opportunity to put one’s point of view, such as a formal interview with a monarch or head of state

late 14c., “the action of hearing,” from Old French audience, from Latin audentia “a hearing, listening,” from audientum (nominative audiens), present participle of audire “to hear,” from PIE compound *au-dh- “to perceive physically, grasp,” from root *au- “to perceive” (cf. Greek aisthanesthai “to feel;” Sanskrit avih, Avestan avish “openly, evidently;” Old Church Slavonic javiti “to reveal”). Meaning “formal hearing or reception” is from late 14c.; that of “persons within hearing range, assembly of listeners” is from early 15c. (French audience retains only the older senses). Sense transferred 1855 to “readers of a book.” Audience-participation (adj.) first recorded 1940.


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