overhear Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “overhear” in the English Dictionary

"overhear" in British English

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overhearverb [I or T]

uk   /ˌəʊ.vəˈhɪər/  us   /ˌoʊ.vɚˈhɪr/ (overheard, overheard)
C2 to ​hear what other ​people are saying without ​intending to and without ​theirknowledge: I overheard a very ​funnyconversation on the ​bus this ​morning. [+ obj + -ing verb ] He overheard his ​daughtertelling her ​doll not to be so ​naughty. [+ obj + infinitive without to ] We overheard them say that they didn't really like the ​food. I'm ​sorry, I couldn't ​help overhearing.
(Definition of overhear from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"overhear" in American English

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overhearverb [I/T]

 us   /ˌoʊ·vərˈhɪər/ (past tense and past participle overheard  /ˌoʊ·vərˈhɜrd/ )
to ​hear what other ​people are saying ​unintentionally and without ​theirknowledge: [T] I overheard a ​funnyconversation on the ​bus this ​morning. [I] They were so ​loud, I couldn’t ​help overhearing.
(Definition of overhear from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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