a. A group of viewers or listeners, especially those present at a performance (as a play, concert, or lecture) or a public event (as a rally).
b. The readership for printed matter, as for a book.
c. A group of people who follow or admire an artist or performer: The tenor expanded his audience by recording popular songs as well as opera.
2. A formal hearing, as with a religious or state dignitary.
3. An opportunity to be heard or to express one's views.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin audientia, from audiēns, audient-, present participle of audīre, to hear; see au- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.