keep an ear to the ground

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Related to keep an ear to the ground: Lend an Ear, turn on its ear

keep an/(one's) ear to the ground

To listen for any indication of what is happening or will happen. A: "I'm not sure what's going to happen with this merger, so I'm keeping an ear to the ground." B: "Please let me know if you hear anything." I know Kim is keeping her ear to the ground in case word gets out about the promotion.
See also: ear, ground, keep, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep an ear to the ground

 and have an ear to the ground; keep one's ear to the ground; have one's ear to the ground
Fig. to devote attention to watching or listening for clues as to what is going to happen. John had his ear to the ground, hoping to find out about new ideas in computers. His boss told him to keep his ear to the ground so that he'd be the first to know of a new idea.
See also: ear, ground, keep, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

keep/have an/your ear (close) to the ˈground

(try to) be well-informed about what is or will be happening: Jane keeps her ear pretty close to the ground and can usually tell you what the mood of the staff is.
See also: ear, ground, have, keep, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ear to the ground, to have/keep an

To be well informed. The allusion here, one writer conjectures, is to the days of cowboys and Indians, when one literally put one’s ear to the ground in order to hear the sound of horses miles away. An Americanism dating from the late nineteenth century, the term was a cliché by the time Stanley Walker poked fun at it (and two others) in The Uncanny Knacks of Mr. Doherty (1941): “He had his ear to the ground and his eye on the ball while they were sitting on the fence.”
See also: ear, have, keep, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Keep an ear to the ground to uncover any promises competitors make that you know are too good to be true.
Keep an ear to the ground. Bullies like to brag, so some low-tech investigative work might just help you figure out who's behind the harassing site.
A lot depends on how quickly the sites consolidate." All of which gives James a reason to keep an ear to the ground for developments in his old industry, produce, and his new one, the Internet.
One underworld source said: "Kenny didn't mind Mina working because it meant she could keep an ear to the ground for him.
Savvy practitioners keep an ear to the ground to stay in the hunt.
"Keep an ear to the ground and listen to the (agency's) recorded message."