What does listen mean?

Definitions for listen
ˈlɪs ənlis·ten

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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. Robert A. Heinlein:

    Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

  2. Susan Brandt:

    You can feel him saying, 'Wait, I have one more thing to say,' 'Listen to me; this is important.'.

  3. Dwaine Caraway:

    It is time for them to stand up, and it's time for us to listen and it's time for Trump and every elected official in Washington and USA on every level to stand up and speak out against this type of violence.

  4. Liz Racioppi:

    She's been doing a slow rise, but a lot more people are starting to listen to her now.

  5. Travis Robertson:

    At first, I didn't want to listen to her because I have had bad experiences with police..., but as we talked, I could see that she was one of the good ones. There are definitely bad officers out there, but there are good ones too.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for listen

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a young woman in the 1920s who flaunted her unconventional conduct and dress
    • A. tithe
    • B. arbalist
    • C. jocularity
    • D. flapper

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