deaf

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See also: Deaf

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English deef, from Old English dēaf, from Proto-Germanic *daubaz, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewbʰ- (to whisk, smoke, darken, obscure). Cognate with Ancient Greek τυφλός (tuphlós). See also dumb.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

deaf (comparative deafer, superlative deafest)

  1. Unable to hear, or only partially able to hear.
    • Shakespeare
      Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf.
    • Dryden
      Deaf with the noise, I took my hasty flight.
  2. Unwilling to listen or be persuaded; determinedly inattentive; regardless.
    Those people are deaf to reason.
    • Shakespeare
      O, that men's ears should be / To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!
  3. Obscurely heard; stifled; deadened.
    • Dryden
      A deaf murmur through the squadron went.
  4. (obsolete, Britain, dialect) Decayed; tasteless; dead.
    a deaf nut; deaf corn
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
    • Holland
      If the season be unkindly and intemperate, they [peppers] will catch a blast; and then the seeds will be deaf, void, light, and naught.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

deaf pl (plural only)

  1. (with "the") Those who are deaf, taken as a group.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

deaf (plural deafs)

  1. (nonstandard, rare) A deaf person.
    • 1897, József Jekelfalussy, The Millennium of Hungary and Its People[1], 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[2]:
      Negotiations for South Vietnam's political future and the enforcement of cease-fire between two sides progressed like a conversation between two deafs.
    • 2014, Chelsea Handler, My Horizontal Life[3], →ISBN:
      "I work with the blind mostly. Some deafs too," I told her.
    • 2015, Judith Richards, The Sounds of Silence[4], →ISBN:
      Two deafs did not always make deaf babies.

Usage notes[edit]

Used primarily within the deaf community.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

deaf (third-person singular simple present deafs, present participle deafing, simple past and past participle deafed)

  1. (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.
    • 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?
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *daubaz, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewbʰ- (smoky, foggy, dim). 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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

dēaf

  1. deaf

Declension[edit]