Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Origin: eavesdropper 'someone who stands close to a wall, where rainwater drops from the eaves, in order to listen secretly'

eavesdrop

verb
     
eaves‧drop past tense and past participle eavesdropped, present participle eavesdropping [intransitive]
to deliberately listen secretly to other people's conversations [↪ overhear]:
There was Helena eavesdropping outside the door.
eavesdropper noun [countable]

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