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spy, ignore, disregard, overlook


Artifice and Falseness, Behavior and Conduct, Clandestine and Conniving, Duplicity and Deceit, Manipulation and Deception, Dishonesty and Concealment



How to pronounce eavesdrop (audio)


Dictionary definition of eavesdrop

To listen in on a conversation without the knowledge or consent of the people involved.
"They tried to eavesdrop on the meeting through the closed door."

Detailed meaning of eavesdrop

It is often done surreptitiously, with the intent of gathering information or gaining an advantage. Eavesdropping can take place in person, such as listening in on a conversation in a public place, or through technology, such as listening in on a phone call or monitoring electronic communications. It can be seen as an invasion of privacy, as it allows someone to gain access to private information without the knowledge or consent of the people involved. It can also be used to gain an unfair advantage in business or personal relationships, by obtaining information that is not meant to be shared. Eavesdropping can be illegal in some jurisdictions, depending on the circumstances under which it is done.

Example sentences containing eavesdrop

1. I often eavesdrop on the birds chirping in the morning.
2. It's impolite to eavesdrop on other people's conversations.
3. When you eavesdrop, you might hear something you don't like.
4. He tries to eavesdrop on his neighbors through the walls.
5. People shouldn't eavesdrop because it's an invasion of privacy.
6. They eavesdrop on the meetings to gather inside information.

History and etymology of eavesdrop

The verb 'eavesdrop' has an intriguing etymology that harkens back to architectural features. It originated during the Tudor period in England, combining 'eaves,' the overhanging edges of a roof, and 'drop,' suggesting that one is lurking or hanging from these eaves. In essence, 'eavesdrop' etymologically conveys the image of someone lurking under the eaves of a building to clandestinely listen in on conversations or activities happening inside. This term has since evolved to describe the act of secretly and without permission listening to someone else's conversation or private discussions. The etymology of 'eavesdrop' vividly captures the surreptitious nature of this behavior, emphasizing the idea of lurking in the shadows, much like an eavesdropper beneath the eaves of a building.

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Further usage examples of eavesdrop

1. The spy gadgets allow you to eavesdrop from a safe distance.
2. Children like to eavesdrop when adults are discussing something secretive.
3. Does anyone else eavesdrop on book club conversations at the café?
4. In the library, she manages to eavesdrop on the librarians’ chatter.
5. It's intriguing to eavesdrop on the various dialects in the language café.
6. She plans to eavesdrop on their conversation for her new novel's inspiration.
7. Through the air vent, you can eavesdrop on the discussion in the next room.
8. It is illegal for the government to eavesdrop without a proper warrant.
9. Some people eavesdrop without even realizing that they are doing it.
10. When characters in a sitcom eavesdrop, hilarity usually ensues.
11. The detectives use a special microphone to eavesdrop on the suspects.
12. I sometimes eavesdrop on conversations at the park to get a pulse on public opinion.
13. The cat seems to eavesdrop on us, reacting to our conversations with uncanny timing.
14. Aspiring writers sometimes eavesdrop to develop realistic dialogue for their characters.

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