adjective, deaf·er, deaf·est.
noun (used with a plural verb)
- deadweight tonnage,
- deaf aid,
- deaf as a post,
- deaf without speech,
Origin of deaf
Examples from the Web for deafness
Thousands of other children suffered seizures, permanent brain damage or deafness.A Fully Vaccinated Woman Contracted and Then Spread Measles. WTF?|Elizabeth Lopatto|April 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For me, deafness opened up new worlds, rather than the other way around.
Where deafness and infertility and all manner of other impairments are far more common.Worried About Incurable Tuberculosis? Stand By for Incurable Everything.|Megan McArdle|March 12, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Her deafness was always a source of pride, but here she is forced to see how deaf individuals can be robbed of their own agency.ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest|Jace Lacob|February 28, 2013|DAILY BEAST
When he looked up, he wore puzzled frowns; there were lapses of memory, prolonged bewildered silences and moments of deafness.
When the president delivered his first discourse, probably on account of his deafness, he did not speak loud enough to be heard.Famous European Artists|Sarah K. Bolton
His deafness took an unusual form; he heard fish frying in his head, and he was not reticent upon the subject of his infirmity.The Bibliotaph|Leon H. Vincent
In considering Beethoven's deafness, it is well to bear in mind the words of Schopenhauer: "Genius is its own reward," he says.Chopin and Other Musical Essays|Henry T. Finck
Cut off from society by my deafness, and dispirited by my ill health, where could I be better?The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son|The Earl of Chesterfield
But he was uncouth, stricken with deafness, and had many of the "bad moments" of genius.The Loves of Great Composers|Gustav Kobb
Word Origin for deaf
Old English deaf "deaf," also "empty, barren," specialized from Proto-Germanic *daubaz (cf. Old Saxon dof, Old Norse daufr, Old Frisian daf, Dutch doof "deaf," German taub, Gothic daufs "deaf, insensate"), from PIE dheubh-, which was used to form words meaning "confusion, stupefaction, dizziness" (cf. Greek typhlos "blind).
The word was pronounced to rhyme with reef until 18c. Deaf-mute is from 1837, after French sourd-muet. Deaf-mutes were sought after in 18c.-19c. Britain as fortune-tellers. Deaf as an adder (Old English) is from Psalms lviii:5.
In addition to the idiom beginning with deaf
- deaf as a post
- fall on deaf ears
- stone deaf
- turn a deaf ear