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From Middle English deefnesse; equivalent to deaf +‎ -ness.



deafness (countable and uncountable, plural deafnesses)

  1. The condition of being deaf; the lack or loss of the ability to hear.
    • 1965, Herbert, Frank, Dune[1] (Science Fiction), New York: Ace Books, OCLC 15383013, page 47[2]:
      Paul wet his lips with his tongue, read: “ ‘Think you of I the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us? What is there around us that we cannot—’ ”
  2. (figuratively) Lack of knowledge or refusal to admit a particular problem, issue, etc.
    their deafness to her cries

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