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tone-deaf

[tohn-def] /ˈtoʊnˌdɛf/
adjective
1.
unable to distinguish differences in pitch in musical sounds when producing or hearing them.
Origin of tone-deaf
1890-1895
1890-95
Related forms
tone deafness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tone-deaf
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There are people who are colour-blind, people who are tone-deaf.

    The World I Live In Helen Keller
  • Trilby the tone-deaf, who couldn't sing one single note in tune!

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • Some people are "tone-deaf," and they find it physically impossible to observe the law of contrasts.

    The Story of My Life Ellen Terry
  • Some people are tone-deaf, and they find it physically impossible to observe the law of contrasts.

    Vocal Expression Katherine Jewell Everts
  • It is easy to understand that this master of harmony possessed no charms for a tone-deaf young man.

    Makers of Electricity Brother Potamian
British Dictionary definitions for tone-deaf

tone-deaf

adjective
1.
unable to distinguish subtle differences in musical pitch
Derived Forms
tone deafness, noun
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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Difficulty index for tone-deaf

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tone

4
5
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