- water that drips from the eaves.
- the ground on which such water falls.
verb -drops, -dropping or -dropped
- (intr) to listen secretly to the private conversation of others
mid-15c., from Middle English eavesdrop, from Old English yfesdrype “place around a house where the rainwater drips off the roof,” from eave (q.v.) + drip (v.). Technically, “one who stands at walls or windows to overhear what’s going on inside.”
c.1600, probably a back-formation from eavesdropper. Related: Eavesdropping.