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an earful

A lengthy reprimand or lecture. I got an earful from my mom once she heard about my speeding ticket. I gave that kid an earful after he dented my car.
See also: earful

get an earful

To receive a lengthy reprimand or lecture. I got an earful from my mom once she heard about my speeding ticket.
See also: earful, get

give (one) an earful

1. To give one a lengthy reprimand or lecture. My mom gave me an earful once she heard about my speeding ticket. I gave that kid an earful after he dented my car.
2. To divulge secrets to one. Tim gave me an earful about his relationship this afternoon, and it doesn't sound good. I think he's going to break up with Mark.
See also: earful, give

*an earful

Fig. a great amount of discussion, criticism, gossip, or complaint. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) She was really mad about something, and I sure got an earful. Sue was standing around the corner while Jim and Mary were arguing and got an earful.
See also: earful


1. n. a tremendous amount of gossip. I can give you an earful about the mayor.
2. n. a scolding. Her mother gave her an earful when she finally got home.

give someone an earful

1. tv. to scold someone. Sally gave Sam an earful for the way he treated Mary.
2. tv. to tell someone surprising secrets. Willy gave Sally an earful about Todd’s tax problems.
See also: earful, give, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
Riding around London each week I get an earful of grumbles about Ken Livingstone from the capital's cabbies.
The former is an earful of the primitive (think Lightning Beat Man with singing lessons from El Duce), down and dirty.
We got an earful of anecdotal evidence that revealed that 1) quality writing on the corporate scene is in bad shape; 2) it matters--a lot; and 3) there are ways to counteract the downward slide, but the reasons for it are profound, and the fix won't be a quick one.
And if thousands of scratchy insect-legs weren't enough to steal away Christian's attention, these prickly noise-makers also gave him quite an earful.
Dear Editor - The phrase 'West Midlands' is not an attractive earful.
Bush's key domestic policies, gave his political strategist Karl Rove an earful.
His future wife, Meredith Auld, was Miss South Dakota in 1959 and gave him an earful when he lost his focus.
The PC Magazine Singapore folks are about to get an earful on that matter from the powers in New York who licensed the title to them (thanks to some back-and-forth between the US version's chief editor and yours truly).
Meanwhile, I'm rediscovering my old favorite places, and in one dive where they still call you "honey," I get an earful from a waitress about the President's most recent fundraising toe-dipping into town.
30, 2004, to issue a final rule, and as agency officials have crisscrossed the country conducting "listening sessions," they have gotten an earful.
Months before millions around the world took to the streets to protest our foreign policy, I got an earful from my Catholic traveling companions from Pakistan, Hungary, Peru, and Tanzania.
ACTOR Jude Law got an unexpected earful at Bucharest airport when a Romanian politician mistook him for a car thief.
Bush has now grabbed the Presidency, I've been getting an earful from friends and subscribers who blame me for foisting Bush, and all the evils attendant to him, upon the nation.
RADIO DJ Steven Bumfrey (pictured right with pupils) got an earful when he visited a Coventry school.