From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdeafdeaf /def/ ●●○ W3 adjective 1 HEAR#physically unable to hear anything or unable to hear well → hearing impaired communication between deaf and hearing people I think Mum’s going a bit deaf. She’s deaf and dumb (=unable to hear or speak) and communicates using sign language. Tom was born profoundly deaf (=having great difficulty hearing).stone deaf/deaf as a post informal (=completely deaf) → hard of hearing, tone-deaf2 → the deaf3 → be deaf to something4 → turn a deaf ear (to something)5 → fall on deaf ears —deafness noun [uncountable]COLLOCATIONSverbsgo deaf (=become deaf)By the time he was 50 he had begun to go deaf.be born deafIf the mother gets the disease, her baby may be born deaf.leave somebody deaf (=cause someone to become deaf)A blow on the head left him permanently deaf.adverbstotally deaf (=completely deaf)He was totally deaf, and unable to walk.partially deaf (=partly deaf)Most children who are partially deaf can be taught in normal schools.stone deaf informal (=completely deaf)She must be stone deaf if she didn’t hear all that noise!profoundly deaf technical (=completely deaf)Many profoundly deaf children have great difficulty in learning to read.phrasesas deaf as a post informal (=completely deaf)He won’t hear you - he’s as deaf as a post.deaf in one earThe illness left her deaf in one ear. THESAURUSdeaf adjective physically unable to hear anything, or unable to hear wellDeaf people use sign language to communicate.be hard of hearing to have difficulty hearing things, for example because you are oldYou’ll have to speak up – she’s a bit hard of hearing.subtitles for the hard of hearinghearing-impaired formal adjective having a permanent physical condition which makes it difficult for you to hear thingsNot all hearing-impaired people are completely deaf.
Examples from the Corpusdeaf• Found as a baby in Darjeeling, she, too, is deaf.• One such group is the deaf.• Her second child, Oscar, was born deaf.• More programmes these days have subtitles for the deaf.• You'll need to speak quite loudly because my father's going deaf.• Dad's partially deaf and needs a hearing aid.• Does it adequately outline assessment procedures which will identify the needs of the deaf child?• All normal deaf children can develop in the oral system.• Washington, that bastion of deaf ears and self-indulgent thinking, is actually trying to relate to the country it represents.• But the union message today is increasingly falling upon deaf ears.• There is no reason why deaf people wouldn't lead perfectly normal lives.• Higher education for the deaf receives the same lukewarm support.• Mr Farrer, a white-haired man in his fifties, had been stone deaf since he was a child.• That was another of Eunice Snell's theories, that he was a bit weak in the head and probably stone deaf too.deaf and dumb• Her illness, when she had been struck deaf and dumb - had she been in the field then?• The deaf and dumb one, who seemed about to speak or make a noise as he came.• Maginn also took part in the debate concerning the intermarriage of deaf and dumb people.• Sleight was a genuine friend of deaf and dumb people.• The second related to the difficulties experienced by deaf and dumb school-leavers in finding suitable employment and particularly in entering skilled trades.• Kim stood like a deaf and dumb sentry, never once asking her to stay.• Alice herself was deaf and dumb until - she claims - she saw a vision of the Immaculate Conception.Origin deaf Old English