1590s, "to make deaf," from deaf. The earlier verb was simply deaf (mid-15c.). For "to become deaf, to grow deaf," O.E. had adeafian (intrans.), which survived into M.E. as deave but then took on a transitive sense from mid-14c. and sank from use except in dialects (where it
mostly has transitive and figurative senses), leaving English without an intransitive verb here.
"very loud," 1590s, from deafen (q.v.). Deafening silence is attested by 1830.