- 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-mutism
My impression was that there were several cases of deaf-mutism in the village.In Indian Mexico (1908)
The same may be said of feigned insanity, aphonia, deaf-mutism, and loss of memory.Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
W. G. Aitchison Robertson
Moreover, Meckel has found that deaf-mutism is more frequently met with in flour-mills than elsewhere.
Deaf-mutism is so varied that frequently two unrelated deaf mutes may have hearing children.Introduction to the Science of Sociology
Robert E. Park
In fact we are tempted to jump at the conclusion that consanguinity is in itself a cause of deaf-mutism.Consanguineous Marriages in the American Population
George B. Louis Arner
- 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Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive, and should be avoided.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.