“Eavesdrop” vs. “Overhear”: What’s the Difference?
Jun 12, 2023
The difference between “eavesdrop” and “overhear”
Eavesdropping is an intentional act, while overhearing is accidental.
Eavesdropping involves actively seeking out and listening to a private conversation, while overhearing means passively coming across a conversation that was not intended for others to hear.
Eavesdropping tends to have a negative connotation, whereas overhearing may be seen as more innocent or inconsequential.
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What is the definition of “eavesdrop” and “overhear”?
Eavesdropping means intentionally listening to someone's private conversation without their knowledge, often for the purpose of obtaining information.
It is often considered unethical and intrusive behavior.
Eavesdropping can be done surreptitiously, either by physically positioning oneself to listen to a conversation or by using devices such as hidden microphones.
Overhearing refers to accidentally hearing someone's conversation that was not intended for others.
It is not a deliberate act but rather a byproduct of being within earshot of the conversation.
Overhearing is generally considered less intrusive and less unethical than eavesdropping.
Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?
is the more popular variant on the web.
3,090,000 results on the web
I couldn't help but eavesdrop on the conversation between my coworkers at lunch.
It's not polite to eavesdrop on other people's private conversations.
I found out that my neighbor eavesdrops on my phone calls.
4,330,000 results on the web
I accidentally overheard my boss talking about potential layoffs in the company.
You shouldn't stand so close to people's conversations if you don't want to overhear them.
I overheard my parents discussing their plans for my surprise birthday party.
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