\ ˈdef How to pronounce deaf (audio) , dialectal ˈdēf \

Definition of deaf

1 : lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing
2 : unwilling to hear or listen : not to be persuaded … when men are determined on mutiny, they are deaf to reason.— Washington Irving

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Other Words from deaf

deafish \ ˈde-​fish How to pronounce deafish (audio) \ adjective
deafly adverb
deafness noun

Examples of deaf in a Sentence

He has been deaf since birth. She's completely deaf in her right ear. He's going a little deaf so you'll have to speak up.
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Recent Examples on the Web And while many people who are deaf have strong English literacy skills, Christianson said, some struggle with it as their second language. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Giannis Antetokounmpo Is Called Amazing. Now in Sign Language, Too.," 29 Nov. 2019 However, his 'begging' apparently fell on deaf ears. SI.com, "Santiago Solari 'Begged' Real Madrid to Bring Martin Odegaard Back to Bernabeu Last Season," 28 Oct. 2019 For whatever reason, contemporary American society seems to have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the grieving process and shoved it into a dark corner. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dayhoff: Blue Mass a reminder of psychological trauma faced by first responders," 11 Oct. 2019 But as the public voice fell on deaf ears, a small number of protestors eventually turned to violence, pushing back against the riot police and garnering international attention. Mandy Lee, Bon Appétit, "As Protesters March in Hong Kong, I Cook to Escape," 7 Oct. 2019 The Stein’s 8-year-old business is the only one of its kind in San Francisco and also arguably one of the most unique Neapolitan pizzerias in the country: Mozzeria’s entire staff, just like its owners, are deaf. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "‘We just want to build a community’: Mozzeria’s story of empowerment and access," 13 Sep. 2019 Both Whitaker and his traveling companion — Maverick William Fisher, 21, of Elko, Nevada — are deaf. Aidan Freeman, The Mercury News, "Missing Mendocino camper: Body found, companion arrested in Mexico," 27 Aug. 2019 Each week, Balsley, who is deaf, sends requests for open caption screenings of films that are already in theaters. Rebecca Duke Wiesenberg, baltimoresun.com, "A Maryland deaf community gets closer to movie accessibility," 11 Aug. 2019 Opal also gets along with other dogs, including Pearl, a 1-year-old deaf terrier mix, whom the Brays adopted after the video went viral. Meryl Kornfield, Washington Post, "Opal is deaf and blind, but her owners insist she’s no underdog," 30 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deaf.' 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 deaf

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deaf

Middle English deef, from Old English dēaf; akin to Greek typhlos blind, typhein to smoke, Latin fumus smoke — more at fume

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Time Traveler for deaf

Time Traveler

The first known use of deaf was before the 12th century

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Statistics for deaf

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deaf.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deaf. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for deaf

How to pronounce deaf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deaf

: not able to hear
: not willing to listen to or consider something
\ ˈdef How to pronounce deaf (audio) \

Kids Definition of deaf

1 : wholly or partly unable to hear
2 : unwilling to hear or listen She was deaf to all suggestions.

Other Words from deaf

deafness noun
\ ˈdef How to pronounce deaf (audio) \

Medical Definition of deaf

: lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing

Other Words from deaf

deafness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on deaf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deaf

Spanish Central: Translation of deaf

Nglish: Translation of deaf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deaf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deaf

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