Definition of deaf adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//def//
    ; NAmE NAmE//def//
    (deafer, deafest)
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  1. 1  unable to hear anything or unable to hear very well to become/go deaf She was born deaf. partially deaf see also stone deaf, tone-deaf
  2. 2the deaf noun [plural] people who cannot hear television subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing More Like This Plural adjectival nouns the blind, the deaf, the destitute, the dead, the dying, the elderly, the faithful, the homeless, the injured, the insane, the jobless, the middle aged, the old, the poor, the rich, the sick, the squeamish, the wealthy, the wicked, the wounded, the youngSee worksheet.
  3. 3[not before noun] deaf to something not willing to listen or pay attention to something He was deaf to my requests for help.
  4. Word OriginOld English dēaf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch doof and German taub, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek tuphlos ‘blind’.Extra examples It’s no good shouting—he’s stone deaf. Many of these children are profoundly deaf. She remained deaf until she died. She spoke loudly because her mother was a little deaf. Standing next to the machine all day left her deaf in one ear. The committee remained deaf to our suggestions. Their child was born deaf. helping chronically deaf patientsIdioms (informal) very deaf More Like ThisSimiles in idioms (as) bald as a coot, (as) blind as a bat, (as) bright as a button, (as) bold as brass, as busy as a bee, as clean as a whistle, (as) dead as a/​the dodo, (as) deaf as a post, (as) dull as ditchwater, (as) fit as a fiddle, as flat as a pancake, (as) good as gold, (as) mad as a hatter/​a March hare, (as) miserable/​ugly as sin, as old as the hills, (as) pleased as Punch, as pretty as a picture, (as) regular as clockwork, (as) quick as a flash, (as) safe as houses, (as) sound as a bell, (as) steady as a rock, (as) thick as two short planks, (as) tough as old bootsSee worksheet. to be ignored or not noticed by other people Her advice fell on deaf ears.
    turn a deaf ear (to somebody/something)
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    to ignore or refuse to listen to somebody/something He turned a deaf ear to the rumours.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: deaf