Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[ded-n] /ˈdɛd n/
verb (used with object)
to make less sensitive, active, energetic, or forcible; weaken:
to deaden sound; to deaden the senses; to deaden the force of a blow.
to lessen the velocity of; retard:
to deaden the headway of a ship.
to make impervious to sound, as a floor.
verb (used without object)
to become dead.
Origin of deaden
First recorded in 1655-65; dead + -en1
Related forms
deadener, noun
undeadened, adjective
1. blunt, diminish, lessen, numb, dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for deaden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now he tapped gently on the cut glass with an iron chisel, whose head was covered by a piece of felt cloth to deaden the sound.

    Shadow, the Mysterious Detective Police Captain Howard
  • A caution when the vessel is luffed up to deaden her way, followed by "heave."

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • He repeated the word to himself a thousand times to deaden his suspense and apprehension.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • In vain Brenton tried his best to deaden his senses to the lure of it; but it was of no use.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • Don't you think there is something elemental in most of us which no veneer of civilisation or artificial living can ever deaden?

  • From the time they began their work, every pains had been taken to deaden sounds.

    On the Irrawaddy G. A. Henty
  • Ten years of prison, it will be hereafter noticed, did not deaden his Gilbert and Ralegh.

    Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing
  • Ought she not to hold it apart, and to shield it with her hand to deaden its brightness?

  • Fog, which one would naturally suppose would obscure or deaden the light, has instead great illuminating power.

British Dictionary definitions for deaden


to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
(transitive) to make acoustically less resonant: he deadened the room with heavy curtains
Derived Forms
deadener, noun
deadening, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for deaden

1660s "deprive of or diminish (some quality)," from dead (adj.) + -en (1). Earlier the verb was simply dead. Related: Deadened; deadening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for deaden

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for deaden

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for deaden