All ears


      • to be fully attentive and eager to listen
        To show keen interest and readiness to listen to someone or something, often in a respectful or enthusiastic manner.

      • to be eagerly anticipative
        To eagerly await news, updates, or information on a particular topic or event.

      • to be very sensitive or receptive
        To have a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity, often used in reference to sound or music.

    Examples of All ears

    • The sales pitch was so captivating that the entire audience was All ears.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where people are completely focused and attentive, as if they are listening with their entire body. In this example, the sales pitch was so engaging that everyone in the audience was completely focused and listening intently, as if their ears were the only thing they could hear.

    • When my friend told me about her new job, I made sure to give her my undivided attention and be All ears.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used in a more personal and conversational context. When someone shares important news with us, we want to show them that we are fully present and listening carefully, as if our ears are the only thing that matters in that moment.

    • The politician's speech was so long-winded that the audience's ears started to hurt.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used to describe a negative situation, where people are forced to listen to something for too long and become uncomfortable or fatigued. In this case, the audience's ears may have been figuratively hurting from the length and dullness of the politician's speech.

    • The teacher's lecture was so fascinating that I hung on her every word, All ears.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used to describe a positive situation, where people are eagerly listening to something because they find it interesting or valuable. In this case, the speaker's words were so captivating that the listener was completely focused and attentive, as if their ears were the only thing that mattered in that moment.

    • The musician's concert was so loud that I had to put my fingers in my ears to block out the noise.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used in a more physical context, where people are trying to protect their ears from excessive noise. In this case, the listener may have been overwhelmed by the volume of the music and had to physically cover their ears to prevent damage or discomfort.


    The idiom "all ears" is commonly used to express a state of attentiveness and eagerness to listen to someone or something. It can also convey a sense of anticipation or heightened sensitivity.

    In its first meaning, "all ears" is often used in conversations to show that the listener is fully engaged and receptive to the speaker's words. It can also be used as a polite way to express interest in someone's story or opinion. This usage is often seen in social or professional settings.

    The second meaning of "all ears" is more commonly used in a casual or informal context. It conveys a sense of eagerness or anticipation, as if one is eagerly waiting to hear some exciting news or updates. This meaning is often used in everyday conversations between friends or acquaintances.

    Lastly, "all ears" can also be used to describe someone who is very sensitive or receptive, particularly in terms of sound or music. This meaning is often used in reviews or critiques of performances or recordings, where the person is extremely attuned to the nuances and details of the music.

    Origin of "All ears"

    The origin of the idiom "all ears" is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated from the phrase "ears pricked up". This phrase was used to describe the attentive and alert posture of animals such as horses or dogs, who would prick their ears up when they heard something interesting or unfamiliar.

    Over time, the phrase evolved into "all ears", which is now used to describe a person's heightened state of attentiveness and receptivity. It has been used in English literature since the 17th century and has become a commonly used idiom in modern English.

    Examples of this idiom can be found in various literary works, such as in Shakespeare's play "Antony and Cleopatra" where the character Cleopatra says, "I am all ears" when she is eagerly awaiting news from a messenger. It has also been referenced in popular culture, such as in the TV show "Friends" where the character Joey says, "I'm all ears" to show his interest in hearing about his friend's date.