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eavesdrop on (someone or something)

To intentionally listen to a conversation that one is not a participant in. This phrase can refer to the conversation itself or to the speaker. Because it's likely that people will eavesdrop on our discussion, I think we should postpone it until a later time. If you don't stop eavesdropping on my phone calls, I'm going to tell mom!
See also: eavesdrop, on

eavesdrop on someone

to listen in on people having a private conversation. I saw her eavesdropping on them. Please don't eavesdrop on me.
See also: eavesdrop, on

eavesdrop on something

to listen in on a private conversation. She was eavesdropping on their conversation. Maria was eavesdropping on the telephone call.
See also: eavesdrop, on
References in periodicals archive ?
This new discovery shows that male wolf spiders also eavesdrop on the visual signals of courting males," he stated.
CCTV cameras fitted with high-powered microphones could eavesdrop from up to 100 yards away.
The report also noted that significant "signal leakage" (wireless network signals traveling beyond an organizations perimeter) allowed for unauthorized users to monitor, check security configurations and eavesdrop.
Since a polymer's physical properties depend on its underlying chemistry and how it is processed, the 3M researchers designed an experiment to eavesdrop on molecular changes occurring during the processing of polymers.
New electronic techniques are being developed to eavesdrop on the brain by detecting the activity of many cells simultaneously.
Of course he is the person that people will try to eavesdrop on most," GE-zel says.
Among the president's requests was legislation to expand the FBI's authority to use ``roving'' wiretaps to eavesdrop on fast-moving terrorists who avoid detection by using cellular phones and scramblers.
Adversaries will attempt to jam and eavesdrop optical links, just as they do in the RF world today, so we need to be armed with counter-measures.
It is easier to eavesdrop today than it has ever been in the past.
According to Littman, Mitnick was drawn to Shimomura's computer because it contained software that could be used to eavesdrop on cellular telephone calls and the Internet communications.
The petition asks the court to end the practice of using employees in the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to eavesdrop on conversations between news reporters and members of the City Council and other city officials, and follows up on a letter delivered to City of Chicago lawyers on July 19, 1999.
to eavesdrop on communications from Iraq and terrorists groups like Al Qaeda.
For security analysis [6], let us assume Eve eavesdrops and measures a photon.
O'Neill said: "Every country eavesdrops - the US just happens to be the best of them all.