eavesdropping

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eavesdropping

Secretly gaining unauthorized access to confidential communications. Examples include listening to radio transmissions or using laser interferometers to reconstitute conversations by reflecting laser beams off windows that are vibrating in synchrony to the sound in the room. See wiretapping.

Eavesdropping

See also Curiosity, Voyeurism.
Andret
eavesdrops through keyhole on Tristan and Isolde’s conversation. [Arthurian Legend: Walsh Classical, 22]
Polonius
lurking behind arras, he is killed accidentally by Hamlet. [Br. Lit.: Hamlet]
Pry, Paul
inquisitive, meddlesome character who “eavesdrops on everyone.” [Br. Drama: Paul Pry, Payton, 514]
Rumpelstiltskin
his name overheard by queen’s messenger, allowing spell to be broken. [Ger. Fairy Tale: Grimm, 19]