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eavesdrop on (someone or something)

To intentionally listen to a conversation that one is not a participant in. 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 us, I'm going to tell mom!
See also: eavesdrop, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The NSA, which eavesdrops on billions of communications worldwide, is barred from domestic spying without a warrant, as required in the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
'If a spy wanted to eavesdrop, it might be easier to just install a bug in the room.'
Who can guarantee that the equipment wasn't given to a group or a subject who abused it to eavesdrop on the citizens of Macedonia?
Giving an interview on the TGRT news channel on Wednesday, Bozkyr said the allegations that Germany has spied on Turkey are not particularly odd, as Turkey must also eavesdrop on others to protect its interests.
London, Jan 5 (ANI): Spiders eavesdrop on other males and copy their courtship signals as a likely means of stealing their mate, according to a new study.
The State National Security Committee does not eavesdrop phone conversations of parliamentarians and other individuals without a court sanction, Vice Chairman of the State National Security Committee Marat Imankulov said at the plenary session of the Parliament today.During consideration of the murder of 3 police officers on January 4 and subsequent anti-terror special operation outside Bishkek on January 5 in Parliament, MP Dastanbek Bekeshev claimed the national security agencies illegitimately eavesdrops phone conversations of parliamentarians and government officials.Imankulov denied these allegations.
POLICE may eavesdrop on conversations in the street to pick up "aggressive" exchanges before they erupt in violence.
But Richard Clarke, Bush's former cyberspace advisor, said the government would not eavesdrop on individuals' e-mails and that its plan articulated a strong policy of protecting citizens' cyberspace privacy.
Caught between "Hearsay" and "Heresy" readers eavesdrop upon the bard's authoritative meditations upon creatures ruled by appetite and instinct.
Washington, August 5 (ANI): Beyonce Knowles has revealed that she loves to eavesdrop on other people's conversations and listen to fellow women discussing their life's problems together.
Under the PATRIOT Act, the FBI has unprecedented authority to eavesdrop on all phone and Internet communications of individual American citizens, as long as agents obtain approval from a secret court.
The area between the wall and the rain was known as the eavesdrop, and people sheltering there could often hear the conversations inside.
Milan Banov in Nova Makedonija comments that whether we recognize it or not, we all eavesdrop sometimes, we have turned into a big collective ear which cares about other people's lives, about their evil and malice, about conspiracy, agreement and crime.
22 (ANI): US troops stationed in Afghanistan will soon use spy planes, that will provide them crucial information about Al Qaeda and the Taliban, with the help of its technology that can capture still images, video and even eavesdrop.