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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of deafen in a Sentence

We were deafened by the explosion.
Recent Examples on the Web If Candidate Trump had done something like that, criticism from the right would have been deafening. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Get Ready for a Nasty 2020 Presidential Campaign," 1 Jan. 2020 In a year when climate change was the subject of mass global demonstrations, Silicon Valley’s silence could have been deafening. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "The 2019 Good Tech Awards," 30 Dec. 2019 The cheers of the fans as the door opened on the plane and the team walked out was deafening. Joshua Gunter, cleveland, " photographer Joshua Gunter’s favorite photos from the last decade," 27 Dec. 2019 The silence of his absence in our lives is deafening. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Mountain Monsters' Star John 'Trapper' Tice Died at 72 After a 'Brief Illness'," 22 Dec. 2019 Seals, for instance, may be deafened by the underwater rumble of shipping traffic, while stressful noise levels seem to cut short the life expectancy of zebra finches. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Noise Pollution Impacts a Wide Range of Species, Study Finds," 22 Nov. 2019 Ohio State, with Chase Young back from a two-game suspension, then got the interception from Hillard before shutting down two late Penn State drives on fourth down, aided by deafening crowd noise., "Ohio State held on after Penn State (9-2, 7-2) took advantage of two second-half turnovers to climb back in the game after trailing, 21-0. This was a far different scenario for Ohio State, which hadn’t yet had to play hard into the second half.," 24 Nov. 2019 Everything since then has been social engineering accompanied by deafening tap dancing. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Incentives Gaylord could receive unknown; TABOR continues to be a hot topic (7/14/19)," 14 July 2019 The Toronto Raptors held a 3-1 series lead, and 10 straight points from Kawhi Leonard in the fourth quarter transformed Scotiabank Arena from dead to deafening in mere minutes with a franchise on the cusp of its first-ever championship. Matt Schneidman, The Mercury News, "Splash Brothers save the Warriors doing what they do best," 10 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of deafen

1597, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deafen

Time Traveler for deafen

Time Traveler

The first known use of deafen was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Statistics for deafen

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deafen.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on deafen

What made you want to look up deafen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!