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Line breaks: deaf
Pronunciation: /dɛf

Definition of deaf in English:


1Lacking the power of hearing or having impaired hearing: I’m a bit deaf so you’ll have to speak up deaf children
More example sentences
  • Thorn Park School is a day special school for deaf and partially hearing children from two to sixteen years of age.
  • Budgie is a hearing dog for the deaf and was brought in for assembly by his owner Tracy Lewis, who lives in the town.
  • If you're talking to a deaf person and a hearing person, don't just focus on the hearing person.
1.1Unwilling or unable to hear or pay attention to something: she is deaf to all advice
More example sentences
  • As I said last weekend, it's easy to become deaf to the sirens in Hackney.
  • It may be that I've been deaf to the roar of protest that has met this authoritarian and intrusive measure.
  • You appear to excel at giving orders but are deaf to the needs of your employees.


Old English dēaf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch doof and German taub, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek tuphlos 'blind'.


(as) deaf as a post

Having very bad hearing.
Example sentences
  • It seems it's still easier to see me as a Machiavellian force preventing her from communicating with her friends than to accept that she's deaf as a post and increasingly anti-social.
  • Now I live with a woman who is not only deaf as a post but, as a result of her stroke, has short-term memory loss.
  • I found her batting at the door of the spice cupboard, yowling fit to wake Mrs R next door, and she's deaf as a post.

fall on deaf ears

(Of a statement or request) be ignored: their pleas fell on deaf ears
More example sentences
  • They always ignored her when she walked by, Garcia said, and any requests for a meeting fell on deaf ears.
  • Mr Anderson said: ‘Our requests are falling on deaf ears.’
  • Alas, her request fell on deaf ears - Alex and Tiffany were squabbling over a chair.

turn a deaf ear

Refuse to listen or respond to a statement or request: he turned a deaf ear to all appeals
More example sentences
  • Her efforts to find her son a permanent job even as a peon have been futile; the block development officer turns a deaf ear to her requests, she says.
  • Unfortunately, these same people can turn a deaf ear when forced to listen to someone else's point of view.
  • When the property management company turned a deaf ear to residents' advice, residents refused to pay the fees.



Example sentences
  • There are also higher rates of deafness, blindness, epilepsy, chronic lung disease and mortality.
  • Nearly 15 per cent of people in Britain have some degree of deafness.
  • We know that he conducted badly - not due to deafness, but because he was not really familiar with some of the music.

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