verb (used with object)
to make less sensitive, active, energetic, or forcible; weaken: to deaden sound; to deaden the senses; to deaden the force of a blow.
to lessen the velocity of; retard: to deaden the headway of a ship.
to make impervious to sound, as a floor.
verb (used without object)
to become dead.

1655–65; dead + -en1

deadener, noun
undeadened, adjective

1. blunt, diminish, lessen, numb, dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deaden (ˈdɛdən)
1.  to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
2.  (tr) to make acoustically less resonant: he deadened the room with heavy curtains

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1660s "deprive of or diminish (some quality)," from dead. Earlier the verb was simply dead.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
To deaden the rock on impact, go for about three full revolutions.
They used the toxin to deaden the muscles that control frowning.
When politicians seek to deaden that pain and supplant those lessons with hasty
  fixes of their own, they almost always blunder.
It takes a lot of engineering effort and extra materials to deaden intrusive
  sounds at source.
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