(redirected from deafness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to deafness: nerve deafness, Congenital deafness

are you deaf?

Asked rhetorically and sarcastically to someone who appears not to be listening or who is not following instructions. Due to its negative connotation, the phrase is considered offensive to those who are actually hearing-impaired. Hello? Are you deaf? I asked you when you would have this report finished. I've told you how to do this five times now. Are you deaf?

preach to deaf ears

To present arguments to or attempt to persuade or advise those who have no inclination to change their opinion or belief. You're preaching to deaf ears if you think you can convince these kids to stay away from alcohol before they turn 21. Even though they know they're preaching to deaf ears, the hate group makes a point of holding protests outside churches and the funerals of slain soldiers.
See also: deaf, ear, preach

deaf as an adder

Unable to hear anything. The deafness of an adder is referred to in the Bible. A: "I'm shouting, and he's ignoring me!" B: "Oh, he's deaf as an adder! Write down whatever you're trying to communicate to him." What are you, deaf as an adder? You hear me calling you for dinner, so get in here!
See also: adder, deaf

there's none so deaf as those that will not hear

People who choose not to listen will never hear what is being said. You can try to reason with him all you want, but his mind is made up. There's none so deaf as those that will not hear.
See also: deaf, hear, none, not, those, will

be as deaf as a post

To be unable to hear well or at all. I hope grandpa wears his hearing aid to dinner tonight because he's as deaf as a post without it. After years of listening to loud rock music, I'm deaf as a post.
See also: deaf, post

deaf and dumb

unable to hear or speak. (Used without any intended malice, but no longer considered polite. Sometimes euphemized as "hearing and speech impaired.") Fred objected to being called deaf and dumb. Aunt Clara—she was deaf and dumb, you know—lived to be over 100.
See also: and, deaf, dumb

*deaf as a post

deaf. (*Also:as ~.) When my cousin was a teenager, she played her drum set without ear protection, and she was as deaf as a post by the age of twenty-five. Mark can't hear you even if you shout; he's deaf as a post.
See also: deaf, post

fall on deaf ears

Fig. [for talk or ideas] to be ignored by the persons they were intended for. Her pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears; the judge gave her the maximum sentence. All of Sally's good advice fell on deaf ears. Walter had made up his own mind.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

There's none so deaf as those who will not hear.

Prov. If you tell someone something that he or she does not want to know, he or she will not pay attention to you. I tried repeatedly to tell my supervisor about the low morale in our department, but there's none so deaf as those who will not hear.
See also: deaf, hear, none, not, those, who, will

turn a deaf ear (to someone or something)

to ignore what someone says; to ignore a cry for help. How can you just turn a deaf ear to their cries for food and shelter? Jack turned a deaf ear to our pleading.
See also: deaf, ear, turn

turn a deaf ear to something

to ignore what someone is saying The Supreme Court said there was a need for action, but Congress has turned a deaf ear to the Court. Mei-ling's father turned a deaf ear to any criticism of how he had taught his daughter.
See also: deaf, ear, turn

something falls on deaf ears

a statement, opinion, or suggestion is ignored Jennifer suggested that Harold should get a job, but of course her advice fell on deaf ears.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

be as deaf as a post

  (British, American & Australian informal) also be as deaf as a doorknob/doornail (Australian)
to be completely deaf She's 89 and as deaf as a post.
See fall on deaf ears, turn a deaf ear
See also: deaf, post

fall on deaf ears

if a request or advice falls on deaf ears, people ignore it Appeals to release the hostages fell on deaf ears. Warnings that sunbathing can lead to skin cancer have largely fallen on deaf ears in Britain.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

turn a deaf ear

to ignore someone when they complain or ask for something (often + to ) In the past they've tended to turn a deaf ear to such requests.
See also: deaf, ear, turn

deaf as a post

Also, deaf as an adder. Unable to hear or to listen, as in Speak louder, Grandpa's deaf as a post. The first simile has its origin in John Palsgrave's Acolastus (1540): "How deaf an ear I intended to give him ... he were as good to tell his tale to a post." It has largely replaced deaf as an adder, alluding to an ancient belief that adders cannot hear; it is recorded in the Bible (Psalms 58:3-5).
See also: deaf, post

fall on deaf ears

Be ignored or disregarded, as in Any advice we give them about remodeling seems to fall on deaf ears. This expression transfers physical inability to hear to someone who does not want to listen. [1400s] Also see turn a deaf ear.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

stone deaf

Totally unable to hear, as in Poor Grandpa, in the last year he's become stone deaf. [First half of 1800s]
See also: deaf, stone

turn a deaf ear

Refuse to listen, as in You can plead all day but he's turning a deaf ear to everyone. This expression dates from the first half of the 1400s and was in most proverb collections from 1546 on. Also see fall on deaf ears.
See also: deaf, ear, turn

fall on deaf ears

To go unheeded; be ignored completely: "Moscow's own familiar charges ... will also fall on deaf ears" (Foreign Affairs).
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on
References in periodicals archive ?
To another query, Dr Rana said hearing aids were very important tools for ear care and to eliminate deafness.
A genetic fault here means that these cells will not form properly or in sufficient numbers, leading to profound deafness or extremely poor hearing.
The database also includes pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, CROs, hospitals, government labs and other organisations active in the Deafness research field.
This study shows SoundBite is both safe and effective for patients with Single-Sided Deafness, and patients are very satisfied with the device.
examines deafness that occurs after age five or six, after language has been substantially acquired, an area that has seen little study outside of English, and almost no cross-linguistic and cross-cultural study at all.
At least half of all cases of deafness that develop from birth through infancy in developed countries have a genetic basis, as do many cases of later onset progressive hearing loss.
The increase in cases of deafness and tinnitus among the young is considered to be in part due to the use of mp3 players.
The tragedy highlights two important learning points: firstly, that the warning bells were not heard and secondly that there are organisations like Deafness Research UK who can help.
However, national charity Deafness Research UK would like to sound a note of caution.
Commenting on the book Philip said, "Of all my books, Deep Field is maybe closest to my heart, not just because it a memorial to my father and his courage faced with deafness and aphasia.
The roadshow, part of Deafness Awareness Week, also marks the start of a year-long series of events right across the county run by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Deafness Support Network to provide potentially lifesaving advice to those with hearing loss.
SCIENTISTS have discovered a new gene linked to the type of deafness passed on through families.
A gene associated with a rare form of progressive deafness in males has been identified by an international team of researchers funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
MILLIONS of music fans face a "ticking time-bomb" of deafness because of their iPods, an expert said yesterday.