earless, adj.earlike, adj.
/ear/, n.
1. 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.
2. the external ear alone: The hat completely covers his ears.
3. the sense of hearing: sounds that are pleasing to the ear.
4. keen or sensitive perception of the differences of sound, esp. sensitiveness to the quality and correctness of musical sounds: an ear for music; a violinist with a good ear.
5. attention; heed: to gain a person's ear.
6. any part that resembles or suggests an ear in position or form, as the handle of a teacup.
7. Archit. crossette.
8. 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.
9. Furniture.
a. a decorative feature at the upper end of a leg.
b. one of the decorative features at each end of a crest rail.
10. ears, Slang. earphones.
11. be all ears, Informal. to give all one's attention; listen: We were all ears as the scandal was revealed.
12. bend an ear, to listen attentively: to bend an ear to a request for aid.
13. 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.
14. by ear, without reference to written or printed music: to play the piano by ear.
15. fall on deaf ears, to be disregarded; pass unheeded: Their pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears.
16. give ear, to pay attention; listen carefully. Also, lend an ear.
17. 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.
18. have one's ears on, Slang. to be listening through earphones to a radio, cassette player, telephone communication, or the like.
19. have or 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. set on one's ear or ears, to excite or stir up; shock; amaze: The presence of the movie star set the whole town on its ear.
23. 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.
24. up to one's ears, deeply involved or occupied to full capacity: We are up to our ears in work.
25. wet behind the ears. See wet (def. 11).
[bef. 900; ME ere, OE eare; c. ON eyra, G Ohr, Goth auso, L auris, Lith ausìs, Gk oûs]
/ear/, n.
1. the part of a cereal plant, as corn, wheat, etc., that contains the flowers and hence the fruit, grains, or kernels.
2. to form or put forth ears.
[bef. 900; ME ere, OE ear, aehher; c. G Ahre, ON ax, Goth ahs ear, L acus husk]
/ear/, v.t. Brit. Dial.
to plow; cultivate.
[bef. 900; ME ere(n), OE erian; c. ON erja, Goth arjan, L arare]

* * *

Organ of hearing and balance.

The outer ear directs sound vibrations through the auditory canal to the eardrum, which is stretched across the end of the auditory canal and which transmits sound vibrations to the middle ear. There a chain of three tiny bones conducts the vibrations to the inner ear. Fluid inside the cochlea of the inner ear stimulates sensory hairs; these in turn initiate the nerve impulses that travel along the auditory nerve to the brain. The inner ear is also an organ of balance: the sensation of dizziness that is felt after spinning is caused when fluid inside the inner ear's semicircular canals continues to move and stimulate sensory hairs after the body has come to rest. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasal passages; that connection allows the common cold to spread from the nasal passages to the middle ear, especially in infants and small children. The most common cause of hearing loss is otosclerosis, a surgically correctable disease in which one of the bones of the middle ear loses its capacity to vibrate. See also deafness, otitis.
(as used in expressions)
labyrinth of the ear
Jenkins' Ear War of
lamb's ear
lamb's ears

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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