the organ of hearing and equilibrium in vertebrates, in humans consisting of an external ear that gathers sound vibrations, a middle ear in which the vibrations resonate against the tympanic membrane, and a fluid-filled internal ear that maintains balance and that conducts the tympanic vibrations to the auditory nerve, which transmits them as impulses to the brain.
the external ear alone:
The hat completely covers his ears.
the sense of hearing:
sounds that are pleasing to the ear.
keen or sensitive perception of the differences of sound, especially sensitiveness to the quality and correctness of musical sounds:
an ear for music; a violinist with a good ear.
to gain a person’s ear.
any part that resembles or suggests an ear in position or form, as the handle of a teacup.
Journalism. a small box in either upper corner of a newspaper page, usually the front page or split page, containing the name of or a symbol for the edition, a weather bulletin, a slogan, or the like.
a decorative feature at the upper end of a leg.
one of the decorative features at each end of a crest rail.
ears, Slang. earphones.
be all ears, Informal. to give all one’s attention; listen:
We were all ears as the scandal was revealed.
bend an ear, to listen attentively:
to bend an ear to a request for aid.
bend someone’s ear, Informal. to talk to someone uninterruptedly and often so as to induce boredom:
He’ll bend your ear for hours if given the chance.
by ear, without reference to written or printed music:
to play the piano by ear.
fall on deaf ears, to be disregarded; pass unheeded:
Their pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears.
give ear, to pay attention; listen carefully.
Also, lend an ear.
go in one ear and out the other, to be heard but ignored; be put out of mind:
My repeated warnings to her went in one ear and out the other.
have / keep one’s ear to the ground, to keep well-informed about current trends; be shrewd or astute:
Because she had her ear to the ground, she made a large fortune in stock speculation.
have one’s ears on, Slang. to be listening through earphones to a radio, cassette player, telephone communication, or the like.
pin someone’s ears back, Slang. to give a person a sound beating; defeat a person utterly:
If he doesn’t behave himself, I’ll pin his ears back.
set by the ears, to cause to dispute or quarrel:
He’s a troublemaker who keeps trying to set the two other children by the ears.
set on one’s ear / ears, to excite or stir up; shock; amaze:
The presence of the movie star set the whole town on its ear.
turn a deaf ear to, to refuse to listen to or consider (a request, petition, etc.):
He turns a deaf ear to requests for loans.
up to one’s ears, deeply involved or occupied to full capacity:
We are up to our ears in work.
wet behind the ears. wet (def 19).
the organ of hearing and balance in higher vertebrates and of balance only in fishes. In man and other mammals it consists of three parts See external ear, middle ear, internal ear related adjectives aural otic
the outermost cartilaginous part of the ear (pinna) in mammals, esp man
the sense of hearing
sensitivity to musical sounds, poetic diction, etc: he has an ear for music
attention, esp favourable attention; consideration; heed (esp in the phrases give ear to, lend an ear)
an object resembling the external ear in shape or position, such as a handle on a jug
Also called (esp Brit) earpiece. a display box at the head of a newspaper page, esp the front page, for advertisements, etc
all ears, very attentive; listening carefully
by ear, without reading from written music
(slang) chew someone’s ear, to reprimand severely
fall on deaf ears, to be ignored or pass unnoticed
(Caribbean) have hard ears, to be stubbornly disobedient
(informal) a flea in one’s ear, a sharp rebuke
have the ear of, to be in a position to influence: he has the ear of the president
in one ear and out the other, heard but unheeded
keep one’s ear to the ground, have one’s ear to the ground, to be or try to be well informed about current trends and opinions
(informal) make a pig’s ear of, to ruin disastrously
one’s ears are burning, one is aware of being the topic of another’s conversation
(informal) out on one’s ear, dismissed unceremoniously
play by ear
to act according to the demands of a situation rather than to a plan; improvise
to perform a musical piece on an instrument without written music
prick up one’s ears, to start to listen attentively; become interested
set by the ears, to cause disagreement or commotion
(informal) a thick ear, a blow on the ear delivered as punishment, in anger, etc
turn a deaf ear, to be deliberately unresponsive
(informal) up to one’s ears, deeply involved, as in work or debt
(informal) wet behind the ears, inexperienced; naive; immature
the part of a cereal plant, such as wheat or barley, that contains the seeds, grains, or kernels
(intransitive) (of cereal plants) to develop such parts
The seed-bearing spike of a cereal plant, such as corn or wheat.
Talk about a matter at tedious length; monopolize someone’s attention. For example, Aunt Mary is always bending his ear about her financial problems. This term may have come from the much older to bend one’s ear to someone, meaning “to listen to someone,” although the current phrase implies a less than willing audience. [ ; c. 1940 ]
In addition to the idioms beginning with ear
ear to the ground, have one’s
- Bend the elbow
bend the elbow To drink frequently and heavily, esp whiskey: They cautioned him that maybe he was bending the elbow a little too often To have a drink: We’ll tip the elbow over at my place (1825+)
- Bend the law
bend the law
- Bend the rules
bend the rules
- Bend the throttle
bend the throttle