[def] /dɛf/

adjective, deafer, deafest.
partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear.
refusing to listen, heed, or be persuaded; unreasonable or unyielding:
deaf to all advice.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to the Deaf or their cultural community:
Deaf customs and values.
noun, (used with a plural verb)
deaf persons collectively (usually preceded by the):
social services for the deaf.
(initial capital letter) deaf persons who identify themselves as members of a community composed of deaf persons and others who share in their culture (usually preceded by the).

refusing to heed: deaf to the cries of the hungry

Old English deaf “deaf,” also “empty, barren,” specialized from Proto-Germanic *daubaz (cf. Old Saxon dof, Old Norse daufr, Old Frisian daf, Dutch doof “deaf,” German taub, Gothic daufs “deaf, insensate”), from PIE dheubh-, which was used to form words meaning “confusion, stupefaction, dizziness” (cf. Greek typhlos “blind).

The word was pronounced to rhyme with reef until 18c. Deaf-mute is from 1837, after French sourd-muet. Deaf-mutes were sought after in 18c.-19c. Britain as fortune-tellers. Deaf as an adder (Old English) is from Psalms lviii:5.

deaf (děf)


In addition to the idiom beginning with


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