hear a pin drop, can

could hear a pin drop

Could hear nothing at all because it was completely quiet and still. After the boss's outburst, the meeting room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Waiting to see what happened next in the play, everyone in the audience stayed so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
See also: could, drop, hear, pin

hear a pin drop, can

Be able to hear even the smallest noise because of the quiet, as in When he came onstage you could have heard a pin drop. This hyperbolic expression dates from the early 1800s.
See also: can, hear, pin