deaf·en | \ ˈde-fən \
deafened; deafening\-fə-niŋ, ˈdef-niŋ \

Definition of deafen 

transitive verb

: to make deaf was deafened by the explosion

Examples of deafen in a Sentence

We were deafened by the explosion.

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Particularly interesting are the mea culpas from Serreze and fellow scientists who chased scientific red herrings or, deafened by the din of natural climate variability, misread the data. Ashley Shelby, New York Times, "To the Poles — Before They Started Melting," 15 June 2018 Beneath the crypto industry’s deafening hype and bubbly scams, an economy of promoters is thriving. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "The Hustlers Fueling Cryptocurrency’s Marketing Machine," 12 June 2018 Once the gerbils learned this behavior, scientists deafened the animals, causing them to become unresponsive to the loudspeaker. Justin Chen, STAT, "Pulses of light restored hearing in gerbils. Could that lead to higher-tech cochlear implants?," 11 July 2018 The collective hand-wringing over Yu Darvish in Chicago is almost deafening. Michael Beller,, "Yu Darvish is Tweaking His Mechanics to Try and Escape His Early-Season Struggles," 18 May 2018 With all of England's games held at Wembley, support for the home side was deafening and made the difference in all three tight knockout matches., "5 Times Home Support Seriously Counted at the World Cup," 31 May 2018 Indeed, if Grassley suggested that private universities receiving federal funds should be barred from requiring Bible classes, the resulting outcry would deafen us all. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Why let the Klan march at a private historically black college? ‘This is not a First Amendment thing, man.’," 31 May 2018 My beloved dog was dying and every single breath was deafening. Alexa Tsoulis-reay, The Cut, "I Was Convinced I Might Kill My Child," 31 May 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

2 Sep 2018

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 \
deafened; deafening

Kids Definition of deafen

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


deaf·en | \ ˈdef-ən \
deafened; deafening\-(ə-)niŋ \

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 \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on deafen

Spanish Central: Translation of deafen

Nglish: Translation of deafen for Spanish Speakers

Comments on deafen

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to make amends

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