eavesdropping

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eaves·drop

 (ēvz′drŏp′)
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.
Translations

eavesdropping

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.