- unable to hear and speak.
- a person who is unable to hear and speak, especially one in whom inability to speak is due to congenital or early deafness.
Origin of deaf-mute
1830–40; translation of French sourd-muet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for deaf-mute
When I auditioned for my high school musical, Carnival, they cast me as a deaf-mute.9 Things We Learned About Katie Couric
Maria Elena Fernandez
July 26, 2012
By this plan Maine is said to have been without a deaf-mute pauper in ten years.
In all cases it was the deaf-mute from birth who suffered most.
The deaf-mute and the blind are deprived of normal avenues to communication.Introduction to the Science of Sociology
Robert E. Park
A thought flashed through Hugh's mind,—the man might be a deaf-mute.Fernley House
Laura E. Richards
He is as silent as a deaf-mute and I have no doubt is the soul of discretion.Passing By
- unable to hear or speak
C19: translation of French sourd-muet
Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive, and should be avoided.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
- A person who can neither hear nor speak. No longer in technical use.
- 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.