[ def ]
/ dɛf /
adjective, deaf·er, deaf·est.
partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear.
refusing to listen, heed, or be persuaded; unreasonable or unyielding: deaf to all advice.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to the Deaf or their cultural community: Deaf customs and values.
noun (used with a plural verb)
deaf persons collectively (usually preceded by the): social services for the deaf.
(initial capital letter) deaf persons who identify themselves as members of a community composed of deaf persons and others who share in their culture (usually preceded by the).
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Origin of deaf
before 900; Middle English deef, Old English dēaf; cognate with Middle Low German dōf, Dutch doof, Old High German toub
pronunciation note for deaf
Deaf is usually pronounced [def] /dɛf/, with the vowel of left. In uneducated speech the dialectal pronunciation [deef] /dif/, to rhyme with leaf, is still heard occasionally, but it is increasingly rare.
usage note for deaf
OTHER WORDS FROM deaf
deaf·ly, adverbdeaf·ness, nounhalf-deaf, adjectivenon·deaf, adjective
non·deaf·ly, adverbnon·deaf·ness, nounqua·si-deaf, adjectivequa·si-deaf·ly, adverbsem·i·deaf, adjectivesem·i·deaf·ness, nounun·deaf, adjective
Words nearby deaf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for deafly
/ (dɛf) /
- partially or totally unable to hear
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the deaf See also tone-deaf
refusing to heeddeaf to the cries of the hungry
Derived forms of deafdeafly, adverbdeafness, noun
Word Origin for deaf
Old English dēaf; related to Old Norse daufr
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 deafly
[ dĕf ]
Partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing.
Deaf Of or relating to the Deaf or their culture.
Deaf people considered as a group.
Deaf The community of deaf people who use American Sign Language as a primary means of communication.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Idioms and Phrases with deafly
In addition to the idiom beginning with deaf
- deaf as a post
- fall on deaf ears
- stone deaf
- turn a deaf ear
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.