Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


intr.v. eaves·dropped, eaves·drop·ping, eaves·drops
1. To listen secretly to the private conversation of others.
2. To gain access to private electronic communications, as through wiretapping or the interception of email or cell phone calls.

[Probably back-formation from eavesdropper, one who eavesdrops, from Middle English evesdropper, from evesdrop, place where water falls from the eaves, from Old English yfesdrype; see upo in Indo-European roots.]

eaves′drop′per n.


nheimliches Lauschen or Horchen; electronic eavesdropping (esp Pol) → Lauschangriff m (→ on auf +acc), → Lauschoperation f(on gegen)
References in classic literature ?
We decided that she must have been eavesdropping, but as we could recall nothing of importance that had passed between us we dismissed the matter as of little consequence, merely promising ourselves to be warned to the utmost caution in the future.
Here Tink, who was in her bedroom, eavesdropping, squeaked out something impudent.
Upon the end of his long, stringy neck his little head was cocked to one side, his close-set eyes were half closed, his ears, so expressive was his whole attitude of stealthy eavesdropping, seemed truly to be cocked forward--even his long, yellow, straggly moustache appeared to assume a sly droop.
So they talked till the drinks had been brought and paid for, till another little party had quitted the room and they sat in their lonely corner, secure from observation or from any possibility of eavesdropping.
It was so unnatural and so unsuited to the scene that it might have been made by some inhuman thing flying on wings above them or eavesdropping in the dark woods beyond.
The deadline filing charges for cases from the eavesdropping affair expires on June 30th for the conversations Zaev handed to SPP on 30.
In November last year, SPP initiated the case entitled "Target" which regards the massive eavesdropping scandal realized in the period from 2008 to 2015.
Eavesdropping on Texas History is an anthology of essays by learned historians written in response to the question: what moment in Texas of history would choose to witness as a "fly on the wall", and why?
Additionaly, wireless mediums are not safe due to vicious message injecting and eavesdropping.
After meeting in London they began discussing how they could incorporate eavesdropping into a joint project about the sound of the UK coast.
ANKARA (CyHAN)- Following US administration orders, the National Security Agency (NSA) excluded Turkey's president from a list of leaders of NATO allies who are exempt from eavesdropping, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Tuesday.
Tatjana Popovska in Utrinski vesnik reminds of the past experience we had with Boards of Inquiry and stresses that there is a very little chance that the Board of Inquiry will change something in the eavesdropping scandal.