Sign language is used by people who are deaf.
- If you are unable to hear, this is an example of a time when you are described as deaf.
- If you are unwilling to hear any explanations, this is an example of a time when you are deaf to all explanations.
- physiologically unable to hear, totally or partially
- unwilling to hear or listen; giving no heed: deaf to her pleas
Origin of deafMiddle English def from Old English deaf, akin to German taub, Gothic an unverified form daufs from Indo-European an unverified form dheubh-, misty, obscured from base an unverified form dheu-: see dull
- Partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing.
- often Deaf Of or relating to the Deaf or their culture.
- Unwilling or refusing to listen; heedless: was deaf to our objections.
nounused with a pl. verb
- Deaf people considered as a group. Used with the.
- often Deaf The community of deaf people who use American Sign Language as a primary means of communication. Used with the.
Origin of deafMiddle English def, deef from Old English dēaf
Usage Note: The rise of the Deaf Pride movement in the 1980s introduced a distinction between deaf and Deaf, with the capitalized form used specifically in referring to deaf persons belonging to the community—also known as Deaf culture —that has formed around the use of American Sign Language as the preferred means of communication.
(comparative deafer, superlative deafest)
- Unable to hear, or only partially able to hear.
- Unwilling to listen or be persuaded; determinedly inattentive; regardless.
- Those people are deaf to reason.
- Obscurely heard; stifled; deadened.
- Deaf people considered as a group.
(third-person singular simple present deafs, present participle deafing, simple past and past participle deafed)
- (obsolete) To deafen.
From Old English dēaf, from Proto-Germanic *daubaz.
- Of or relating to the culture surrounding deaf users of sign languages.