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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. © 2022 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 Sixth Circuit reasoned that when the government gets a "lucky break" and "stumbles across" illegally eavesdropped recordings it had no hand in intercepting, Title III does not require the suppression of such recordings.
(115) According to the defendant, police had obtained his confession, as well as permission to search his home, by exploiting an illegally eavesdropped conversation between him and his wife, a recording of which was provided to police by the defendant's neighbor.
She probably has not eavesdropped, though, because the emails are stored, not in transmission, at the time she obtained them.
She also may not have eavesdropped under the Illinois Act because, as a party participating in the e-mail conversation, she does not intend her communications to be private as required by the definition of electronic communication.
These information arose from the investigation of the Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and it was found out that BESA Movement several times demanded the materials from the illegally eavesdropped audio recordings of private telephone conversations of government officials from SDSM.
So it is not something new that our country's prime minister is being eavesdropped on.
Observer Ismet Ramadani says that Zoran Zaev did a big favor to Macedonia by publishing the eavesdropped recorded materials.
If it proves that the Government of Gruevski eavesdropped on the former general secretary of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Macedonia will lose its legitimacy and won't be trusted by the North-Atlantic Union, stressed university professor Nano Ruzin.
Public Prosecutor's Office must immediately initiate investigation for prosecuting the perpetrators who illegally eavesdropped on citizens' conversations, as well as to initiate procedure for possible malpractice, illegal actions, corruption and breaching human rights mentioned in the published recordings", commented Misha Popovikj from the Institute of Democracy - Societas Sivitas.
Observers assess that if the foreign ambassadors were really eavesdropped on, especially partners who support Macedonia for over 20 years, it means big political crisis regarding Euro integrations.
Being the State prosecutor in the affair "Big Ear" Dzikov stressed that the first trial is not effective and clearly shows that the Prime Minister and Chief of the Counter Intelligence Directorate were not the ones who eavesdropped, as Zaev stressed but it was another group of people and the international factor who performed the eavesdropping.
PDSH leader Menduh Tachi announced that he is undoubtedly the most eavesdropped person in Macedonia.
This is best proved by the recorded eavesdropped conversations which are monstrous.
In an interview for "KOHA" Osmani reminded that he has been eavesdropped on since 1981 when he studied in Pristina.
Tachi stressed that he has been eavesdropped on since 1993 when he demanded a special investigative court to review the scandal.