American Dictionary of the English Language

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1. The act of hearing, or attending to sounds.

His bold discourse had audience

2. Admittance to a hearing; public reception to an interview; a ceremony observed in courts, or by official characters, when ambassadors or applicants to men in office are permitted to appear and state their business in person.

3. An auditory; an assembly of hearers.

4. In the Spanish dominions, a court; as the audience of Seville, which is a court of oyer and terminer; and the audience pretorial, in the Indies, which is a high court of judicature. The word in Spain also signifies certain law-officers, appointed to institute a judicial inquiry.

5. In England, a court held by the arch-bishop of Canterbury, on the subject of consecrations, elections, institutions, marriages, etc.