dead·​en ˈde-dᵊn How to pronounce deaden (audio)
deadened; deadening ˈded-niŋ How to pronounce deaden (audio)

transitive verb

: to impair in vigor or sensation : blunt
deadened his enthusiasm
deadened the pain
: to deprive of brilliance
: to make vapid or spiritless
oxygen deadens wine
: to make (something, such as a wall) impervious to sound
: to deprive of life : kill

intransitive verb

: to become dead : lose life or vigor
ˈded-nər How to pronounce deaden (audio)
ˈded-niŋ-lē How to pronounce deaden (audio)

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 But there’s a catch: such crystals may be destroying the world, believed by some to be the root cause of a blight that is quickly deadening the lands and throwing the abundance of kingdoms into war. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2023 With her back to the sideline shy of midfield, McNabb deadened the descending ball with her upper chest and poked the still-falling ball forward with her left foot. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 June 2023 According to the National Institute of Health, these endorphins deaden your perception of pain and increase feelings of pleasure, which creates a temporary but powerful sense of euphoria. Christina Montoya Fiedler, Good Housekeeping, 2 May 2023 Oakland Coliseum is already a pitchers’ park, but the colder weather (mid-50s) should deaden the ball, decreasing overall run production for everyone. Tanner McGrath, Chicago Tribune, 19 Apr. 2023 The biggest is the ball and the size of the stitches, Nathan said, and MLB made slight adjustments to deaden the ball prior to the 2021 season. Seth Borenstein, Fortune, 7 Apr. 2023 Even floors can be reflective of soundwaves, so having carpets or rugs in your recording space can help deaden that bounce. Ginni Saraswati, Rolling Stone, 11 Aug. 2022 With each needle drop, Foley’s eyes deaden, as lifeless as the world outside. Mike Postalakis, SPIN, 25 May 2022 The glum surroundings deaden some of the livelier songs and the sheer size of the set, with staircases on either end, means that the cast needs to take a rather long time to enter or exit the stage. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deaden.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deaden was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near deaden

Cite this Entry

“Deaden.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dead·​en ˈded-ᵊn How to pronounce deaden (audio)
deadened; deadening ˈded-niŋ How to pronounce deaden (audio)
: to reduce or weaken in strength or feeling : dull
deaden pain with drugs

More from Merriam-Webster on deaden

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