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

The noise, combined with the chanting, was deafening. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "Puerto Rico’s Loud and Fervent Days of Protest," 26 July 2019 With so many lulls in competitive play, the Thomas & Mack Center can quickly bounce between deafening chants for Tacko Fall, and dead air ripe for shouting at the All-Stars sitting courtside. Jake Fischer,, "‘They Saw the Future.’ Clipper Darrell Relishes Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Blockbuster," 6 July 2019 For radio astronomers, their sensitive instruments increasingly deafened on Earth, that is a bleak prospect. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Could humanity’s return to the moon spark a new age of lunar telescopes?," 18 July 2019 The official silence that has greeted the report has been deafening. Jackson Diehl, The Denver Post, "Commentary: Mohammed bin Salman is our newest Saddam Hussein," 8 July 2019 But the bar was deafening in the second half as its attendees began shrugging off their sleep, amped up by a penalty kick that Megan Rapinoe converted into a point and then a second point from Rose Lavelle. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Houston celebrate as US women take the gold," 7 July 2019 The roar at kickoff was deafening, and the hollowness when Rapinoe scored the opener even more so., "Megan Rapinoe Serene, Supreme in Guiding USWNT to Quarter-Final Win Over World Cup Hosts," 28 June 2019 The uncomfortable silence at PwC seemed deafening to Ryan. Jon Chesto,, "PwC chief makes diversity an ongoing mantra," 12 June 2019 It wasn’t manufactured or forced: a deafening urge to the team to survive, a tribute to what made the building great and a plea for one more outing. Ann Killion,, "The end of Oracle? Raptors stun Warriors in perhaps final game in Oakland," 7 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

Statistics for deafen

Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deafen

The first known use of deafen was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deafen



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).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

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!