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deaf-mute

[ def-myoot ]
/ ˈdɛfˈmyut /
Offensive.
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adjective
unable to hear and speak.
noun
a person who is unable to hear and speak, especially one in whom inability to speak is due to congenital or early deafness.
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Origin of deaf-mute

First recorded in 1830–40; translation of French sourd-muet

usage note for deaf-mute

See dumb.

OTHER WORDS FROM deaf-mute

deaf-muteness, deaf-mutism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use deaf-mute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deaf-mute

deaf-mute

noun
a person who is unable to hear or speakSee also mute 1 (def. 7), mutism (def. 2b)
adjective
unable to hear or speak

Derived forms of deaf-mute

deaf-muteness or deaf-mutism, noun

Word Origin for deaf-mute

C19: translation of French sourd-muet

usage for deaf-mute

Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive, and should be avoided. The phrase profoundly deaf is a suitable alternative in many contexts
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

Medical definitions for deaf-mute

deaf-mute
[ dĕfmyōōt′ ]

n.
A person who can neither hear nor speak. No longer in technical use.
adj.
Unable to speak or hear.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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