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[stohn-def] /ˈstoʊnˈdɛf/
totally deaf.
Origin of stone-deaf
First recorded in 1830-40; stone + deaf Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stone deaf
Historical Examples
  • She might have been stone deaf, and as dumb as the hearthstone bricks.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • They spoke to him in very loud voices as if he were stone deaf.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Are you stone deaf, that all their pretty speeches have been wasted on you?


    Martin Farquhar Tupper
  • How do you manage to communicate with him if he is stone deaf?

    The Shrieking Pit Arthur J. Rees
  • The old woman is stone deaf, and this time to-morrow Thyra will be my wife!

    Katerfelto G. J. Whyte-Melville
  • There was no answer, but it occurred to me that it might be some old countryman who was stone deaf.

    Wandering Ghosts F. Marion Crawford
  • When I spoke to the old woman, she told me that she was stone deaf.

  • Had Hooker been stone deaf, the words would have had no more effect.

  • Oh, poor old gentleman,” said the secretary; “he is stone deaf.

  • He is absolutely nil, stone deaf and stark blind, on that side.

British Dictionary definitions for stone deaf


completely deaf
Usage note
Use of this word to refer to people with serious hearing difficulties is potentially very offensive: preferred form: profoundly deaf
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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Idioms and Phrases with stone deaf

stone deaf

Totally unable to hear, as in Poor Grandpa, in the last year he's become stone deaf. [ First half of 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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