deaf

adjective
\ 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

Lorne is deaf — his first language is American Sign Language, or ASL. William Poor, The Verge, "How deaf researchers are reinventing science communication," 11 Dec. 2018 In fact, Eberling was surprised to learn that the most beneficial recent invention for the deaf community was the smart phone. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New wearable tech lets users listen to live music through their skin," 25 Nov. 2018 Fans have been quick to point out some of the more problematic plot points, like when Sierra pretends to be deaf, or that non-consensual kiss. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Design Mistake Is The Most Annoying Part Of Sierra Burgess Is A Loser," 14 Sep. 2018 Nyle DiMarco is giving back to students who, like him, are part of the deaf community. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, "Why America's Next Top Model's Nyle DiMarco and Apple CEO Tim Cook Met with Deaf Students," 17 May 2018 After learning Sylvestre is deaf, the experience shifted. Diane M. Bacha, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Empathy' artists offer chance to consider reality of other people," 1 Feb. 2018 Their missions are diverse, from empowering parents and teachers to improving schools, to ensuring that deaf children have equal access to literacy tools, to changing the way the health care system treats addictions. Lolly Bowean, chicagotribune.com, "Obama introduces first group of his foundation's fellows," 16 May 2018 Rachel Shenton, who accepted the Best Live Action Short Film award for her short film, The Silent Child, did her best to sign along in British Sign Language in honor of the 6-year-old star of the film, which is about a deaf child. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "Jordan Peele Makes History at Oscars 2018 as First Black Writer to Win Best Original Screenplay," 5 Mar. 2018 My father, at 86 healthier than my mom but nearly deaf, is hollering up the stairs to me about something. Jill Gleeson, Good Housekeeping, "I Don’t Need Meditation Apps. I Need Real, Genuine Solitude.," 14 Jan. 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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Statistics for deaf

Last Updated

11 May 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 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

deaf

adjective
\ 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

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