adjective, deafer, deafest.
partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear.
refusing to listen, heed, or be persuaded; unreasonable or unyielding: deaf to all advice.
(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the Deaf or their cultural community: Deaf customs and values.
noun (used with a plural verb)
deaf persons collectively (usually preceded by the ): social services for the deaf.
(initial capital letter) deaf persons who identify themselves as members of a community composed of deaf persons and others who share in their culture (usually preceded by the ).

before 900; Middle English deef, Old English dēaf; cognate with Middle Low German dōf, Dutch doof, Old High German toub

deafly, adverb
deafness, noun
half-deaf, adjective
nondeaf, adjective
nondeafly, adverb
nondeafness, noun
quasi-deaf, adjective
quasi-deafly, adverb
semideaf, adjective
semideafness, noun
undeaf, adjective

See dumb.

Deaf is usually pronounced [def] with the vowel of left. In uneducated speech the dialectal pronunciation [deef] to rhyme with leaf, is still heard occasionally, but it is increasingly rare. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deaf (dɛf)
1.  a.  partially or totally unable to hear
 b.  See also tone-deaf (as collective noun; preceded by the): the deaf
2.  refusing to heed: deaf to the cries of the hungry
[Old English dēaf; related to Old Norse daufr]

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

O.E. deaf "deaf, dull, obtuse," specialized from P.Gmc. *daubaz, from PIE dheubh-, which was used to form words meaning "confusion, stupefaction, dizziness" (cf. Gk. typhlos "blind). The word was pronounced to rhyme with reef until 18c. Deaf-mute is from 1837, after Fr. sourd-muet. Deaf-mutes were sought
after in 18c.-19c. Britain as fortune-tellers. Deaf as an adder (O.E.) is from Psalms lviii.5.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

deaf (děf)

  1. Partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing.

  2. Deaf Of or relating to the Deaf or their culture.

  1. Deaf people considered as a group.

  2. Deaf The community of deaf people who use American Sign language as a primary means of communication.

deafness deaf·ness (děf'nĭs)
The lack or loss of the ability to hear.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
deafness   (děf'nĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
The lack or severe impairment of the ability to hear. Deafness is usually genetic or congenital as a result of prenatal viral infection, birth trauma, or other causes. Acquired deafness is caused mostly by drug toxicity, trauma, and certain diseases. Cochlear implants are used to treat some forms of deafness.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for deafness
The reason is because the merle gene is linked to blindness and deafness.
Some double dapples have problems with deafness and blindness.
Deafness was not recognized by early breeders, so the breed was thought to be stupid.
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