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2017 Word of the Year

deadening

[ded-n-ing] /ˈdɛd n ɪŋ/
noun
1.
a device or material employed to deaden or render dull.
2.
a device or material preventing the transmission of sound.
3.
a woodland in which the trees are killed by girdling prior to being cleared.
Origin of deadening
1775-1785
First recorded in 1775-85; deaden + -ing1

deaden

[ded-n] /ˈdɛd n/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make less sensitive, active, energetic, or forcible; weaken:
to deaden sound; to deaden the senses; to deaden the force of a blow.
2.
to lessen the velocity of; retard:
to deaden the headway of a ship.
3.
to make impervious to sound, as a floor.
verb (used without object)
4.
to become dead.
Origin
First recorded in 1655-65; dead + -en1
Related forms
deadener, noun
undeadened, adjective
Synonyms
1. blunt, diminish, lessen, numb, dull.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deadening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What was it about Martin, she wondered afresh, that had held her through all these deadening years?

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • One of its legs caught Garnache on the sword arm, deadening it for a second.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • His ambitions were already sullied by many unworthy and deadening ideas.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • I remember now how deadening their look was, in their very lustre and moveless calm.

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • Deeper grew the deadening of his ears, and orientation was lost.

    Instinct George Oliver Smith
  • Their influence is deadening, and, if strong enough, kills as surely as a bullet.

    Papers on Health John Kirk
  • I think perfect agreement must be rather monotonous and deadening.

    Our Bessie Rosa Nouchette Carey
British Dictionary definitions for deadening

deaden

/ˈdɛdən/
verb
1.
to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
2.
(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
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Word Origin and History for deadening

deaden

v.

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
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Word Value for deadening

12
15
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