[ ded-n-ing ]
/ ˈdɛd n ɪŋ /


a device or material employed to deaden or render dull.
a device or material preventing the transmission of sound.
a woodland in which the trees are killed by girdling prior to being cleared.

Nearby words

  1. deadbeat,
  2. deadbeat dad,
  3. deadbolt,
  4. deadboy,
  5. deaden,
  6. deadeye,
  7. deadfall,
  8. deadhead,
  9. deadlight,
  10. deadline

Origin of deadening

First recorded in 1775–85; deaden + -ing1


[ 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 formsdead·en·er, nounun·dead·ened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deadening

British Dictionary definitions for deadening


/ (ˈdɛdən) /


to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
(tr) to make acoustically less resonanthe deadened the room with heavy curtains
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 deadening



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