\ 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 But these demands may fall on deaf ears because the government is in no position to offer such perks. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Carmakers want lower taxes to ride out the pandemic in India—and that’s exactly what the government can’t afford," 4 Oct. 2020 All of these pleas fell on the deaf ears of the Governor and House Republicans. Anchorage Daily News, "Candidate Q&A: Alaska Senate District 19 — Geran Tarr," 3 Oct. 2020 Today, during a watershed moment in race relations, Daniel’s message that the fashion industry has a responsibility to support and celebrate designers of color is no longer falling on deaf ears. Leah Faye Cooper, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Harlem's Fashion Row Founder Brandice Daniel (Finally) Got the Industry's Attention," 28 Sep. 2020 Wicker, who was deaf in one ear and could partially hear with the other, was shot seconds after officers told him to drop the saw. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Breonna Taylor settlement one of largest ever in U.S. for Black victim of police shooting," 15 Sep. 2020 One disappointing result is that the Circuit turned a deaf ear to the parties’ complaints about Sullivan’s appointment of amici. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "D.C. Circuit Rules against Michael Flynn, Sending Case Back to Judge Sullivan," 1 Sep. 2020 Whetter, who is deaf, has recently been involved with various filmmaker development programs, including the Producers Guild of America's Power of Diversity Master Workshop. Laura Zornosa, chicagotribune.com, "How entertainment professionals with disabilities are fighting for inclusion," 20 Aug. 2020 People interacting with someone who has hearing loss or who is deaf. Lorraine Longhi, The Arizona Republic, "In-person classes resume in Queen Creek on Monday. Not every student will be wearing a mask," 18 Aug. 2020 Transparent masks are an especially crucial tool when communication with a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, an American Sign Language interpreter, or someone who relies on social cues. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "15 products that solve the most uncomfortable things about wearing a mask," 13 Aug. 2020

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

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deaf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deaf. Accessed 25 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on deaf

Nglish: Translation of deaf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deaf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deaf

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