dead·​en | \ˈde-dᵊn \
deadened; deadening\ˈded-​niŋ, ˈde-​dᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of deaden 

transitive verb

1 : to impair in vigor or sensation : blunt deadened his enthusiasm deadened the pain

2a : to deprive of brilliance

b : to make vapid or spiritless oxygen deadens wine

c : to make (something, such as a wall) impervious to sound

3 : to deprive of life : kill

intransitive verb

: to become dead : lose life or vigor

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Other Words from deaden

deadener \ˈded-​nər, -​dᵊn-​ər \ noun
deadeningly \-​niŋ-​lē, -​dᵊn-​iŋ-​ \ adverb

Examples of deaden in a Sentence

He took aspirin to deaden the pain. The new insulation will help to deaden the noise from the street outside.

Recent Examples on the Web

Sometime ice was the only thing used to try to deaden the pain before the limbs were crushed. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Police say Sicily gangsters crushed limbs in insurance fraud," 9 Aug. 2018 Gonzalez deadened a high fastball toward first base for the first 0-2 sacrifice bunt of his career, which let Gurriel score the critical run in the Astros' 2-1 win. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Marwin Gonzalez's squeeze bunt helps Astros fend off White Sox," 9 July 2018 Over the last three months, their lives had become deadened by the extreme constraints placed upon them and by a total lack of contact with the outside world. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Inside the Romanov Family's Final Days," 1 July 2018 For weight savings and fun havings, McLaren ditched much of the sound deadening material. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 2018 And zoning is bound up in the fundamentals of financing and deadening repetition about maintaining property values by unidimensional use. Anthony Alofsin, The Atlantic, "A Defense of the Suburbs," 6 June 2018 And even in Pyongyang, Western and South Korean pressure groups attest, the deadening totalitarian system is as intrusive as ever. The Economist, "What life is like for ordinary North Koreans," 26 May 2018 The only possible factor against their watchability: The humidor the team installed over the winter, which threatens to deaden offense in lively Chase Field. Jon Tayler,, "Yankees? Yes! Angels? Sure! Tigers? No! Ranking the Watchability of Every MLB Team This Season," 2 Apr. 2018 The only sure-fire way to deaden these coughs was using an opioid medicine. Jeffrey E. Poehlmann,, "Opioids are the only way he can manage his cancer pain. Stigma creates more problems," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deaden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deaden

1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near deaden


dead duck




dead end


Statistics for deaden

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deaden

The first known use of deaden was in 1613

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More Definitions for deaden



English Language Learners Definition of deaden

: to make (something) weaker or less noticeable


dead·​en | \ˈde-dᵊn \
deadened; deadening

Kids Definition of deaden

: to take away some of the force of : make less Medicine will deaden the pain.

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More from Merriam-Webster on deaden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deaden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deaden

Spanish Central: Translation of deaden

Nglish: Translation of deaden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deaden for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deaden

What made you want to look up deaden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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