deaf

adjective
\ ˈdef, 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 \ 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

The abrupt move was reportedly resisted by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who appealed to the president to reconsider and then resigned when his counsel fell on deaf ears. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "Trump’s secret trip to Iraq didn’t quite go as planned," 27 Dec. 2018 His exhortations to manufacturers to bring jobs back to the U.S. have largely fallen on deaf ears. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.," 26 Dec. 2018 But so far these advocates' demands have fallen on deaf ears. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Fully driverless Waymo taxis are due out this year, alarming critics," 1 Oct. 2018 The pair spent the evening looking at one another because the daughter was translating songs into American Sign Language for her deaf dad. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Teen Translates Concert Into American Sign Language For Her Deaf Dad," 18 Dec. 2018 For deaf scientists like Lorne, ASL has the power to turn abstract, jargon-laden concepts into rich, visual representations. William Poor, The Verge, "How deaf researchers are reinventing science communication," 11 Dec. 2018 This isn’t the first time Maniatty has been singled out and praised for using ASL to help deaf concertgoers. Steve Annear, BostonGlobe.com, "Maine resident’s sign-language performance of Eminem’s ‘Rap God’ ignites social media," 26 June 2018 Halle Berry, an Oscar-winning actress, is partially deaf in her left ear due to domestic violence. Ola Ojewumi, SELF, "I'm Celebrating My Disabled Black Girl Magic Because I'm Done Feeling Invisible," 7 Nov. 2018 Employees at a restaurant in Minnesota surprised their deaf co-worker with a special gift for his birthday. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Minnesota restaurant staff surprise deaf co-worker with birthday song in sign language," 19 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for deaf

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deaf

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

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More Definitions for deaf

deaf

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of deaf

: not able to hear

: not willing to listen to or consider something

deaf

adjective
\ ˈdef \

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

deaf

adjective
\ ˈdef \

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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