9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ded-n] /ˈdɛd n/
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.
Origin of deaden
1655-65; dead + -en1
Related forms
deadener, noun
undeadened, adjective
1. blunt, diminish, lessen, numb, dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deaden
  • 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.
  • If that trend continues, it will deaden the possibility of an export-driven recovery.
  • The exactions of their daily tasks, goodness knows, are severe enough to deaden their wider instincts.
  • We deaden our consciences to enjoy-for a few minutes a day-the taste of blood, the feel of our teeth meeting through muscle.
  • Questions and answers, cut and dried, have tended to deaden the inquiring spirit.
  • His unbelief is of a piece with his attempt to deaden his emotions and decrease his vulnerability.
  • Unlike the block, the eardrum injection doesn't deaden touch.
British Dictionary definitions for deaden


to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
(transitive) to make acoustically less resonant: he deadened the room with heavy curtains
Derived Forms
deadener, noun
deadening, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for deaden

1660s "deprive of or diminish (some quality)," from dead (adj.) + -en (1). Earlier the verb was simply dead. Related: Deadened; deadening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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