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

Definition of deafen

transitive verb

: to make deaf was deafened by the explosion

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Examples of deafen in a Sentence

We were deafened by the explosion.
Recent Examples on the Web For those like us who experience these tragedies as terrifying, the silence of the medical community is deafening. Chijioke Nze, STAT, "Police brutality is our lane too, doctors say," 5 June 2020 Stand-up performed to deafening silence is unsettling. Hallie Lieberman, Ars Technica, "When COVID-19 is a joke: Stand-up comedy versus livestreaming’s limits," 24 May 2020 The lack of empathy and remorse is deafening from this man child. Doha Madani, NBC News, "TikTok cereal stunt on NYC subway amid pandemic is 'despicable,' transit authority says," 14 May 2020 Who Are Simply Awash in It All The outrage on social media has been deafening. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Yes, We Should Fix the Broken Oscars. But Let's Not Look to Hollywood to Fix Us," 30 Jan. 2020 In 2018, two designers created Project Alias, an appendage that can be placed over a smart speaker to deafen it. New York Times, "Activate This ‘Bracelet of Silence,’ and Alexa Can’t Eavesdrop," 14 Feb. 2020 At various times, Flyora is deafened by explosions or rendered mute with horror. J. Hoberman, New York Times, "A Russian Filmmaker’s Travelogue of Hell," 20 Feb. 2020 In the hours that followed, conferences and schools began taking matters into their own hands, as the NCAA's silence deafened. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "NCAA cancels 2020 men's, women's basketball tournaments due to rising coronavirus concerns," 12 Mar. 2020 Witnesses said the bull was struck dozens of times, and the sound of the battering was deafening., "As visitors gathered around the bull Sunday morning, a guide from a passing double-decker tour bus directed attention to the sculpture. “That’s the gash,” he said. “See, that’s the gash.”," 10 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of deafen

1597, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for deafen

Time Traveler

The first known use of deafen was in 1597

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Statistics for deafen

Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deafen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for deafen


How to pronounce deafen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deafen

: to make (someone) unable to hear


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 deafening (audio) \

Medical Definition of deafen

transitive verb

: to make deaf

intransitive verb

: to cause deafness or stun one with noise

Other Words from deafen

deafeningly \ -​(ə-​)niŋ-​lē How to pronounce deafeningly (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on deafen

Spanish Central: Translation of deafen

Nglish: Translation of deafen for Spanish Speakers

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