deaf-mute

[ def-myoot ]
/ ˈdɛfˈmyut /
Offensive.

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

1830–40; translation of French sourd-muet

usage note for deaf-mute

See dumb.

OTHER WORDS FROM deaf-mute

deaf-mute·ness, deaf-mut·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for deafmutism

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Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive, and should be avoided.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 deafmutism (1 of 2)

deafmutism
[ dĕfmyōōtĭz′əm ]

n.

Inability to hear and speak. No longer in technical use.

Medical definitions for deafmutism (2 of 2)

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.