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deaf

[def]
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adjective, deaf·er, deaf·est.
  1. partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear.
  2. refusing to listen, heed, or be persuaded; unreasonable or unyielding: deaf to all advice.
  3. (initial capital letter) of or relating to the Deaf or their cultural community: Deaf customs and values.
noun (used with a plural verb)
  1. deaf persons collectively (usually preceded by the): social services for the deaf.
  2. (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).

Origin of deaf

before 900; Middle English deef, Old English dēaf; cognate with Middle Low German dōf, Dutch doof, Old High German toub
Related formsdeaf·ly, adverbdeaf·ness, nounhalf-deaf, adjectivenon·deaf, adjectivenon·deaf·ly, adverbnon·deaf·ness, nounqua·si-deaf, adjectivequa·si-deaf·ly, adverbsem·i·deaf, adjectivesem·i·deaf·ness, nounun·deaf, adjective

Pronunciation note

Deaf is usually pronounced [def] /dɛf/, with the vowel of left. In uneducated speech the dialectal pronunciation [deef] /dif/, to rhyme with leaf, is still heard occasionally, but it is increasingly rare.

Usage note

See dumb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for half-deaf

Historical Examples

  • The drums and the tom-toms rolled once more; and half-deaf we started for home.

    From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan

    Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky


British Dictionary definitions for half-deaf

deaf

adjective
    1. partially or totally unable to hear
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the deaf See also tone-deaf
  1. refusing to heeddeaf to the cries of the hungry
Derived Formsdeafly, adverbdeafness, noun

Word Origin

Old English dēaf; related to Old Norse daufr

xref

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

Word Origin and History for half-deaf

deaf

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

half-deaf in Medicine

deaf

(dĕf)
adj.
  1. Partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing.
  2. Deaf Of or relating to the Deaf or their culture.
n.
  1. Deaf people considered as a group.
  2. Deaf The community of deaf people who use American Sign Language as a primary means of communication.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with half-deaf

deaf

In addition to the idiom beginning with deaf

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.