Mind's ear


      • mental visualization or imagination
        Referring to the ability to imagine or hear things in one's mind, especially sounds or voices

      • memory or recollection
        Describing the act of remembering or recalling something in one's mind

    Examples of Mind's ear

    • The author's words seemed to linger in my mind's ear long after I had finished reading the book.

      This example means that the author's words continue to resonate in my memory, as if I can still hear them being spoken in my mind. The phrase "mind's ear" is used as a metaphor for our inner ability to remember and process spoken words, even when they are not being spoken aloud.

    • Although I couldn't hear her voice, I felt as though I could still hear her speaking to me through my mind's ear.

      This example suggests that we can sometimes remember the sound and inflection of someone's voice, even if we haven't heard it in a long time. It's as if we can imagine the sound of their voice in our mind's ear, as if we are still hearing it.

    • Sometimes when I'm trying to learn a new language, the words seem to fade away as soon as I stop listening to them. But other times, they stick in my mind's ear and I can remember them easily.

      This example highlights the variability of our ability to remember spoken words. It suggests that some words and sounds may stick more firmly in our mind's ear than others, and that our memory for spoken language can be influenced by a variety of factors.

    • As I listened to the teacher's lecture, I found myself tuning out and letting her words fade away in my mind's ear.

      This example might suggest that the speaker is struggling to concentrate, or that they are feeling bored or disengaged. By saying that the words are fading away in their mind's ear, they might be suggesting that they are losing the ability to actively listen and process the information being presented. This might be indicative of a larger problem with focus or attention, or it might simply be a temporary lapse.

    • The musician's mind's ear hears the melody before it's played, allowing them to compose intricate and complex pieces.

      The "mind's ear" refers to a musician's innate ability to hear a piece of music in their mind before actually playing or hearing it out loud. This skill is crucial for composition and arranging music, as it allows the musician to create a complete and cohesive work.

    • I can't quite place my finger on it, but for some reason, the author's writing has an ear-pleasing rhythm to it.

      Here, the use of "mind's ear" is figurative and refers to the aesthetic quality of the author's writing. Just as a musician's melody resonates with the listener's "mind's ear," so too does the rhythm and flow of an author's prose appeal to the reader's inner sense of harmony and cadence.

    • After years of studying music theory, my mind's ear is finally getting a workout every time I hear a piece I've never heard before.

      In this instance, the speaker is using "mind's ear" to describe their heightened awareness and comprehension of music. As they become more familiar with music theory, they are better able to appreciate and understand the subtleties and nuances of different musical pieces.

    • As I listened to the radio, I heard a sound I couldn't quite identify - it was like a mix between a cat meowing and a bird singing, and it caught my mind's ear.

      Here, the speaker uses "mind's ear" to describe a unique and unexpected sound. While the sound may not have been immediately recognizable, it resonated with the speaker's innate musical sensibility and caught their attention.


    The idiom "mind's ear" is used to describe the mental faculty of visualization or imagination, particularly in terms of being able to hear sounds or voices in one's mind. It can also refer to the act of recalling or remembering something in one's mind. Overall, the idiom is used to emphasize the cognitive and imaginative aspects of the mind.

    Origin of "Mind's ear"

    The origin of the idiom "mind's ear" can be traced back to the concept of the "mind's eye," which refers to the mental ability to visualize or imagine things. The addition of the word "ear" in the idiom expands this concept to include the auditory aspect of imagination and memory. The idiom likely originated from the idea that the mind is not only capable of creating mental images, but also of "hearing" or recalling sounds and voices. This reflects the complex and multifaceted nature of human cognition and perception. The idiom has since become a common expression to describe the imaginative and mnemonic capabilities of the mind.

    An example of its usage can be found in a sentence like, "Even though she had never heard the song before, she could play it perfectly by simply listening with her mind's ear."