deaf

adjective
\ ˈdef How to pronounce deaf (audio) , dialectal ˈdēf\

Definition of deaf

1 : lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing
2 : unwilling to hear or listen : not to be persuaded … when men are determined on mutiny, they are deaf to reason.— Washington Irving

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deaf

deafish \ ˈde-​fish How to pronounce deafish (audio) \ adjective
deafly adverb
deafness noun

Examples of deaf in a Sentence

He has been deaf since birth. She's completely deaf in her right ear. He's going a little deaf so you'll have to speak up.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The player’s objections and concerns fall on deaf ears when FIFA and AFC continue tosupport the political players at these shady federations, who refuse to prioritize the women’s teams. Shireen Ahmed, Time, "This Is the Most Anticipated Women’s World Cup Ever. But Corruption and Abuse Still Block Women From Soccer," 5 June 2019 Sean plays Sam, a sweet and funny character, who is also deaf. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Cast Of "The Society" And Their Characters," 10 May 2019 The empty promises of solidarity fall on deaf ears because the actions are contrary to what is said. Valerie Complex, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brie Larson Wants Captain Marvel to Change the Film Industry," 25 Mar. 2019 Still the Best Way to Get Noticed For true maximalists, the trend for elegant, ladylike dressing will likely fall on deaf ears. Emily Farra, Vogue, "The Biggest Street-Style Trends of Fall 2019," 13 Mar. 2019 Harley, a somewhat feral 20-year-old tabby cat who was deaf, was found dead in West Olympia, Q13 Fox reported. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Serial cat killer? 7 feline deaths in Washington may be linked, investigators say," 6 Aug. 2018 Lorne is deaf — his first language is American Sign Language, or ASL. William Poor, The Verge, "How deaf researchers are reinventing science communication," 11 Dec. 2018 In fact, Eberling was surprised to learn that the most beneficial recent invention for the deaf community was the smart phone. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New wearable tech lets users listen to live music through their skin," 25 Nov. 2018 Fans have been quick to point out some of the more problematic plot points, like when Sierra pretends to be deaf, or that non-consensual kiss. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Design Mistake Is The Most Annoying Part Of Sierra Burgess Is A Loser," 14 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deaf.' 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 deaf

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deaf

Middle English deef, from Old English dēaf; akin to Greek typhlos blind, typhein to smoke, Latin fumus smoke — more at fume

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deaf

Statistics for deaf

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deaf

The first known use of deaf was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deaf

deaf

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of deaf

: not able to hear
: not willing to listen to or consider something

deaf

adjective
\ ˈdef How to pronounce deaf (audio) \

Kids Definition of deaf

1 : wholly or partly unable to hear
2 : unwilling to hear or listen She was deaf to all suggestions.

Other Words from deaf

deafness noun

deaf

adjective
\ ˈdef How to pronounce deaf (audio) \

Medical Definition of deaf

: lacking or deficient in the sense of hearing

Other Words from deaf

deafness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on deaf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deaf

Spanish Central: Translation of deaf

Nglish: Translation of deaf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deaf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deaf

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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