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deaden

[ded-n]
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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.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become dead.
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Origin of deaden

First recorded in 1655–65; dead + -en1
Related formsdead·en·er, nounun·dead·ened, adjective

Synonyms

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

Related Words

impair, desensitize, abate, mute, reduce, smother, cushion, soften, hush, stupefy, check, weaken, paralyze, depress, deprive, slow, tire, injure, damp, repress

Examples from the Web for deaden

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Ought she not to hold it apart, and to shield it with her hand to deaden its brightness?

  • Even concussion of the brain had failed to deaden the memory of that awful night.

    Quin

    Alice Hegan Rice

  • A little lamp black will serve to deaden the color of the paint.

    Apple Growing

    M. C. Burritt

  • It would cripple his energies, and deaden his desire for active employment.

  • Into a labyrinth now my soul would fly, But with thy beauty will I deaden it.

    Endymion

    John Keats


British Dictionary definitions for deaden

deaden

verb
  1. to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
  2. (tr) to make acoustically less resonanthe deadened the room with heavy curtains
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Derived Formsdeadener, noundeadening, 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

Word Origin and History for deaden

v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper