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ear to the ground - It was early Native Americans who taught us to, literally, keep an ear to the ground to listen for horses' hooves as riders approached. More...
scout - From the Latin ausculture, "to listen," it became Old French escoute, "a spy." More...
hearken - To pay attention or listen; it can also mean "to return to a previous topic." More...
listen, hear - To listen is to try to hear; to hear is simply to perceive with the ear. More...