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eavesdrop

eaves·drop

eavesdrop

 
pronunciation:
ivz drap
features:
Word History
part of speech: intransitive verb
inflections: eavesdropped, eavesdropping, eavesdrops
definition: to listen secretly to others' private conversation.
synonyms:
listen in
similar words:
overhear, snoop, spy, wiretap
derivation: eavesdropper (n.)
Word History
Eavesdrop comes from an Old English word that means "the area around a house where water drops from the eaves (the lower part of the roof)." A person who stands in such a spot is close enough to the house to listen to what is being said inside.