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

But until then, much like a A Quiet Place, the silence is deafening! Morgan Baila,, "Is It Just Me, Or Are The Kardashians Really Quiet Right Now?," 25 June 2018 The Golden State lead grew to 36 points after back-to-back 3-pointers by Thompson that drew deafening cheers from the home crowd. William Guillory,, "Warriors blast Pelicans in Game 1 after record-breaking first half," 28 Apr. 2018 The feedback at one show just about deafens the audience, so Fender jumps on stage and pulls a screwdriver out of his belt. David Kirby, WSJ, "‘The Birth of Loud’ Review: Constructive Feedback," 17 Jan. 2019 The president often uses the service to seed threats and falsehoods into the world — falsehoods that are then picked up and amplified by supporters and critics alike, ricocheting to deafening effect across the news. Farhad Manjoo, New York Times, "Employee Uprisings Sweep Many Tech Companies. Not Twitter.," 4 July 2018 While in jail, Earn witnesses the brutal beating of a mentally ill detainee in deafening silence. Michelle Ofiwe, Esquire, "How Donald Glover Changed the Way Black Stories Are Told on Television," 10 Nov. 2016 Civil rights are being violated, yet the silence from organizations such as the NAACP, now calling for a conversation on Cuban use of blackface, is deafening. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "A conversation about racism in Miami should include all groups – not just Cubans," 1 June 2018 Ballard at one point just sat and smiled as the cheers on the other end of the phone were deafening. Joseph Spears, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what the Colts told Quenton Nelson just before drafting him," 27 Apr. 2018 Your hair stands on end, your teeth chatter, and your ears are deafened as the thunderous roar shakes your house and rattles the window panes. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Bolts from the blue: Here’s how lightning can strike when a storm is tens of miles away," 27 June 2018

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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Statistics for deafen

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deafen

The first known use of deafen was in 1597

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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).


a strong desire or propensity

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