Definition of eavesdrop in English:

eavesdrop

verbeavesdrops, eavesdropping, eavesdropped

[no object]
  • Secretly listen to a conversation.

    ‘my father eavesdropped on my phone calls’
    • ‘Trying to look like I was having fun jumping up and down, I secretly eavesdrop on their conversation.’
    • ‘I wanted to listen to you live, as though I was eavesdropping on your conversation.’
    • ‘Sent to his room by Aunt Lou, Joe eavesdrops on the conversation.’
    • ‘He watches a woman chase a runaway dog and eavesdrops on conversations even more banal than his prose.’
    • ‘Try eavesdropping on a conversation the next time you're on the bus.’
    • ‘I was eavesdropping on his conversation with another dad and didn't quite catch it.’
    • ‘The idea is to allow people to communicate secure in the knowledge that nobody's eavesdropping on their conversation.’
    • ‘I eavesdropped on a conversation between two men seated next to me.’
    • ‘But guards eavesdropped on my conversations, standing very close and attempting to intimidate me.’
    • ‘How do I confront him without letting him know that I eavesdropped on his conversation?’
    • ‘An American spy plane flying over China was said to have eavesdropped on their conversation.’
    • ‘Also, the government can eavesdrop on any kind conversations these detainees have with their lawyers.’
    • ‘I know it is trivial, but you don't often get to eavesdrop on the private conversations of US presidents.’
    • ‘As I head home after a long, emotional day, I eavesdrop on some random conversations.’
    • ‘I move to a booth behind theirs and eavesdrop on their conversation.’
    • ‘Inside the house he installed a monitoring system that taped all telephone calls and allowed him to eavesdrop on the conversation in any room.’
    • ‘We had to eavesdrop on people's conversations and their telephone calls.’
    • ‘Why can't people be content to eavesdrop on the conversations around them?’
    • ‘Do you stay at the door and eavesdrop on the conversation without letting anyone know you're there?’
    • ‘I return to my seat long before the bell and eavesdrop on the conversation of the couple behind.’
    listen in, spy, intrude
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century back-formation from eavesdropper(late Middle English)‘a person who listens from under the eaves’, from the obsolete noun eavesdrop ‘the ground on to which water drips from the eaves’, probably from Old Norse upsardropi, from ups ‘eaves’ + dropi ‘a drop’.

Pronunciation

eavesdrop

/ˈiːvzdrɒp/