What does listen mean?

Definitions for listen
ˈlɪs ənlis·ten

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word listen.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. listenverb

    hear with intention

    "Listen to the sound of this cello"

  2. listen, hear, take heedverb

    listen and pay attention

    "Listen to your father"; "We must hear the expert before we make a decision"

  3. heed, mind, listenverb

    pay close attention to; give heed to

    "Heed the advice of the old men"


  1. listenverb

    To pay attention to a sound, to note.

  2. listenverb

    To wait for a sound, such as a signal.

    You should listen for the starting gun.

  3. listenverb

    To accept or obey oral instruction.

    Good children listen to their parents.

  4. listenverb

    To hear (something or someone), to pay attention to.

  5. Etymology: From listnen, from hlysnan, from *hlusinon (compare lüstern, luisteren and lauschen), from ḱlew-. Akin to rochluiniur 'I hear', clueo, κλαίω, κλέος, լամ, degjoj, from ant. glôj, glûej, слути, слѹшати, klausau 'to hear', Middle Persian, श्रु. More at loud.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Listenverb

    To hear; to attend. Obsolete.

    Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say. William Shakespeare.

    One cried, God bless us! and, amen! the other;
    As they had seen me with these hangman’s hands,
    Listening their fear I could not say, amen. William Shakespeare.

    He, that no more must say, is listened more
    Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose. William Shakespeare, Richard II.

    The wonted roar was up amidst the woods,
    And filled the air with barbarous dissonance,
    At which I ceas’d and listen’d them a while. John Milton.

  2. To Listenverb

    To hearken; to give attention.

    Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
    I’ll tell you news. William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew.

    Antigonus used often to go disguised, and listen at the tents of his soldiers; and at a time heard some that spoke very ill of him: whereupon he said, If you speak ill of me, you should go a little farther off. Francis Bacon, Apophthegms.

    Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken, ye people. Isa. xlix.

    When we have occasion to listen, and give a more particular attention to some sound, the tympanum is drawn to a more than ordinary tension. William Holder, Elements of Speech.

    On the green bank I sat, and listen’d long;
    Nor till her lay was ended could I move,
    But wish’d to dwell for ever in the grove. Dryden.

    He shall be receiv’d with more regard,
    And listen’d to, than modest truth is heard. Dryden.

    To this humour most of our late comedies owe their success: the audience listens after nothing else. Addison.


  1. Listen

    Listen is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé. The song was written by Beyoncé, Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler, and Anne Preven, and produced by The Underdogs, Matt Sullivan and Randy Spendlove for the 2006 musical film Dreamgirls, in which Beyoncé's character Deena Jones sings the song in an expression of independence from her controlling husband. Columbia Records released "Listen" as the lead single from the Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture soundtrack album on December 5, 2006. It additionally appeared as a hidden track on international editions, and on the deluxe edition of Beyoncé's second solo studio album, B'Day. The Spanish version of the song, "Oye", was released on the EP, Irreemplazable, and the Spanish deluxe edition of B'Day. One of four new songs written for the feature version of Dreamgirls (originally a 1981 Broadway musical), "Listen" is a soul-R&B song; its lyrics make reference to tenacity, love, the refusal to defer dreams and finally rise towards fame. Its instrumentation includes bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, percussion, and violins, among others. Contemporary music critics complimented the strong and emotional vocals of Beyoncé, and added that the lyrics perfectly elaborate on Deena Jones's life. "Listen" won Best Original Song at the 2007 Critics' Choice Awards. It was nominated in the same category at the 2006 International Press Academy Satellite Award, at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards for all songwriters, and at the 2007 Academy Awards, for songwriters Krieger, Cutler and Preven.


  1. listen

    Listening can be defined as the act of paying attention to and comprehending sounds, spoken words, or information conveyed through various forms of communication. It involves actively engaging with the speaker or audio source, receiving and interpreting the message being conveyed, and demonstrating understanding or providing appropriate responses if required. Effective listening requires focus, concentration, and a willingness to understand and empathize with the speaker's perspective or message.

  2. Listen

    Listening is the act of paying close attention to auditory stimuli, whether it be verbal or non-verbal, in order to understand, interpret, and process information being communicated. It involves focusing on the speaker or audio source, being receptive to their message, and actively engaging in the process of comprehending and assimilating the conveyed information. Effective listening encompasses not only hearing the sounds but also understanding the meaning, intent, and emotions conveyed through speech or other auditory signals.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Listenverb

    to give close attention with the purpose of hearing; to give ear; to hearken; to attend

  2. Listenverb

    to give heed; to yield to advice; to follow admonition; to obey

  3. Listenverb

    to attend to


  1. Listen

    Listen is the third album by R&B singer TQ. It was released on August 31, 2004 in the United States and October 17, 2005 in the United Kingdom.

Editors Contribution

  1. listen

    To focus and hear what a person is saying or communicating.

    They did listen to each other respectfully.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 16, 2020  

  2. listen

    To give attention, hear and remember what a person is saying.

    They did listen to each other respectfully.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 16, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'listen' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2214

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'listen' in Written Corpus Frequency: #670

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'listen' in Verbs Frequency: #191

Anagrams for listen »

  1. enlist

  2. inlets

  3. leints

  4. silent

  5. tinsel

How to pronounce listen?

How to say listen in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of listen in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of listen in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of listen in a Sentence

  1. Ohio Gov. John Kasich:

    That is conservatism, to give people a chance to live out their God-given potential, and because some people say they don't like my tone or because I question abolishing Medicare or Medicaid, that that's not conservative? Listen, I have a plan to improve Medicare and Medicaid. I have done it in Ohio. To say that we're going to deport 10 or 11 million people and divide families, that's just nutty.

  2. Kevin Foster:

    Just listen to us, there is absolutely no reason you should have assault rifles available to citizens in the public. It serves absolutely no purpose and it brings death and destruction on children.

  3. Candace Cameron Bure:

    Listen, on social media, everyone gets criticized, and if you are a celebrity, I mean, it just comes with the territory, and I can handle it, but the second someone starts to criticize my children, or say negative things like that, mama bear comes out.

  4. Elainna Hudson:

    Look and listen to the people.

  5. Ted Cruz:

    So what do they do, they try to shift it. The war on women wasn't that, it was contraceptives. Now listen, I have been a conservative my entire life. I have never met anybody, any conservative who wants to ban contraceptives.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for listen

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"listen." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/listen>.

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    an outward semblance that misrepresents the true nature of something
    • A. disguise
    • B. vehicle
    • C. confectionery
    • D. relocation

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