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See also: Deaf
From Middle English deef, from Old English dēaf, from Proto-West Germanic *daub, from Proto-Germanic *daubaz, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewbʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, darken, obscure”). Cognate with Ancient Greek τυφλός (tuphlós, “blind”). See also dumb.
- IPA(key): /dɛf/
Audio (US) (file)
- (dated, regional US and England) IPA(key): /diːf/
- Rhymes: -ɛf
- Homophones: death (with th-fronting), Deaf, def
deaf (comparative deafer, superlative deafest)
- Unable to hear, or only partially able to hear.
- My brother has been deaf since sustaining injuries in the war.
- It's important for TV shows to provide closed captioning for the deaf.
- 1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii]:
- Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf.
- 1665, John Dryden, The Indian Emperour […], London: Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, published 1667, Act I, scene ii, page 6:
- Deaf with the noyſe I took my haſty flight.
- Unwilling to listen or be persuaded; determinedly inattentive; regardless.
- Those people are deaf to reason.
- c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii]:
- O, that men's ears should be / To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
- Of or relating to the community of deaf people.
- 1994, Bruce N. Snider; Carol Erting; Robert C. Johnson, The Deaf Way, page 734:
- The best place to fight Hollywood deafism is in our deaf schools. If we give our children understanding and appreciation of our rich culture and sign language, the students will gain a deaf heritage and become more creative, more aware, and more assertive global deaf citizens.
- (obsolete) Obscurely heard; stifled; deadened.
- 1717, John Dryden [et al.], “(please specify |book=I to XV)”, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Fifteen Books. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], →OCLC:
- A deaf murmur through the squadron went.
- (obsolete, UK, dialect) Decayed; tasteless; dead.
- a deaf nut; deaf corn
- 1601, C[aius] Plinius Secundus [i.e., Pliny the Elder], “(please specify |book=I to XXXVII)”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Historie of the VVorld. Commonly Called, The Natvrall Historie of C. Plinivs Secvndus. […], (please specify |tome=1 or 2), London: […] Adam Islip, published 1635, →OCLC:
- If the season be unkindly and intemperate, they [peppers] will catch a blast; and then the seeds will be deafe, void, light, and naught.
unable to hear
unable to hear, used as a substantive: deaf people considered as a group
unwilling to listen
deaf (plural deafs)
- (nonstandard, rare) A deaf person.
- 1897, József Jekelfalussy, The Millennium of Hungary and Its People, page 347:
- Among the second group of philanthropic educational institutions the institutes for the deafs and dumbs must be mentioned.
- 1980, Cao Van Vien, Van Khuyen Dong, Reflections on the Vietnam War:
- Negotiations for South Vietnam's political future and the enforcement of cease-fire between two sides progressed like a conversation between two deafs.
Used primarily within the deaf community.
a single deaf person — see deaf person
deaf (third-person singular simple present deafs, present participle deafing, simple past and past participle deafed)
- (obsolete, transitive) To deafen.
- 1634, John Fletcher & William Shakespeare, Two Noble Kinsmen:
- It is enough, my hearing shall be punish'd With what shall happen, -- 'gainst the which there is No deafing -- but to hear, not taint mine eye With dread sights that it may shun.
- 1681, John Dryden, “Canace to Macareus”, in Ovid, Ovid’s Epistles, […], 2nd edition, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], →OCLC, page 13:
- Swift as a Whirl-wind to the Nurſe he flies; / And deafs his ſtormy Subjects with his cries.
- 1871, Charlse Hindlley, A Kicksey Winsey: Or a Lerry Come-Twang:
- Shall we, I say, that have been so long civil and wealthy in peace, famous and invincible in war, fortunate in both, we that have been ever able to aid any of our neighbours (but never deafed any of their ears with any of our supplications for assistance) shall we, I say, without blushing, abase ourselves so far, as to imitate these beastly Indians, slaves to the Spaniards, refuse to the world, and as yet aliens from the holy covenant of God?
- Deafness on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Deaf culture on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- ^ Hall, Joseph Sargent (March 2, 1942), “1. The Vowel Sounds of Stressed Syllables”, in The Phonetics of Great Smoky Mountain Speech (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 4), New York: King's Crown Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 4, page 21.
From Proto-West Germanic *daub.
Germanic cognates include Old Frisian dāf, Old Saxon dōf (Low German dow), Old High German toub (German taub), Old Norse daufr (Swedish döv). The Indo-European root is also the source of Greek τυφλός (tyflós, “blind”).
Declension of dēaf — Strong
Declension of dēaf — Weak
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰewbʰ-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms inherited from Old English
- English terms derived from Old English
- English terms inherited from Proto-West Germanic
- English terms derived from Proto-West Germanic
- English terms inherited from Proto-Germanic
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English terms inherited from Proto-Indo-European
- English 1-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/ɛf/1 syllable
- English terms with homophones
- English lemmas
- English adjectives
- English terms with usage examples
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- English terms with obsolete senses
- British English
- English dialectal terms
- English nouns
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- English verbs
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- Old English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- Old English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰewbʰ-
- Old English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- Old English terms inherited from Proto-Germanic
- Old English terms inherited from Proto-West Germanic
- Old English terms derived from Proto-West Germanic
- Old English terms with IPA pronunciation
- Old English lemmas
- Old English adjectives