Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Eavesdropped'
v : listen without the speaker's knowledge; "the jealous man was
eavesdropping on his wife's conversations" [syn: listen
[also: eavesdropping, eavesdropped]
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Eavesdropped'
Eavesdropping is the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent, as defined by Black's Law Dictionary.
Ancient Anglo-Saxon law punished eavesdroppers, who skulked in the eavesdrop of another's home, with a fine; the easesdropper was also sometimes called the easesdrop. Easesdrop also means a small low visibility hole near the entrance to a building (generally under the eaves) which would allow the occupants to listen in on the conversation of people awaiting admission to the house. Typically this would allow the occupant to be prepared for unfriendly visitors.
Early telephone systems shared party lines which would allow the sharing subscribers to listen to each others conversations. This was a common practice in rural America which resulted in many incidents and feuds.[See more about Eavesdropped at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]