deaf·​en | \ ˈde-fən How to pronounce deafen (audio) \
deafened; deafening\ ˈde-​fə-​niŋ How to pronounce deafen (audio) , ˈdef-​niŋ \; deafens

Definition of deafen

transitive verb

: to make permanently or temporarily deaf was deafened by the explosion

Examples of deafen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Survival 101 for dealing with a snoring partner is trying to deafen the noise, Troxel said. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 4 Dec. 2021 If this asteroid hit in the same spot today, the blast wave would kill you in Texas, deafen you in New York, and blow out window panes in Buenos Aires. Cody Cassidy, Wired, 9 Apr. 2021 Frogs also might not want to completely deafen themselves to other sounds, which could alert them to the presence of predators or tasty prey. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 4 Mar. 2021 Obviously, that’s a quieter environment than the 15,000 people who can deafen big moments. Scott Kushner,, 17 Dec. 2020 For those like us who experience these tragedies as terrifying, the silence of the medical community is deafening. Chijioke Nze, STAT, 5 June 2020 Stand-up performed to deafening silence is unsettling. Hallie Lieberman, Ars Technica, 24 May 2020 The lack of empathy and remorse is deafening from this man child. Doha Madani, NBC News, 14 May 2020 Who Are Simply Awash in It All The outrage on social media has been deafening. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 30 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deafen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of deafen

1597, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries Near deafen

deaf-ear crab



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Cite this Entry

“Deafen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for deafen


deaf·​en | \ ˈde-fən How to pronounce deafen (audio) \
deafened; deafening

Kids Definition of deafen

: to make unable to hear We were deafened by the explosion.


deaf·​en | \ ˈdef-ən How to pronounce deafen (audio) \
deafened; deafening\ -​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce deafen (audio) \

Medical Definition of deafen

transitive verb

: to make permanently or temporarily deaf

More from Merriam-Webster on deafen

Nglish: Translation of deafen for Spanish Speakers


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