deaf

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(as) deaf as a post

Unable to hear well or at all. Potentially offensive. 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

a dialogue of the deaf

A situation in which people share their views without actually listening or acknowledging each other. As long as those two are still in a dialogue of the deaf, we'll never reach an agreement.
See also: deaf, dialogue, of

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?

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

dated Unable to hear or speak. Although this phrase was once commonly used without any offensive intent, it is no longer considered appropriate. The educational options for those who were once called "deaf and dumb" are now much more plentiful.
See also: and, deaf, dumb

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

fall on deaf ears

To be ignored. The hate group makes a point of holding protests outside churches and the funerals of slain soldiers, even though they know their words are likely falling on deaf ears. Tragedy could have been prevented if the warnings hadn't fallen on deaf ears.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

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

stone deaf

Without any ability to hear whatsoever. The doctors tell me that, unless I give up playing music, I'll be stone deaf by the time I'm 40.
See also: deaf, stone

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

proverb 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, that, those, will

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

proverb You will never be able to make some understand or accept something if they are too stubborn or unwilling to learn or notice. You can present facts and try to reason with him all you want, but his mind is made up. There's none so deaf as those who will not hear. Parents like them simply won't accept that their children might need to be disciplined, and there's none so deaf as those who won't hear.
See also: deaf, hear, none, not, those, who, will

turn a deaf ear (to someone or something)

To ignore or refuse to listen to someone or something; to fail to pay attention to something someone says. The government has been turning a deaf ear to the pleas of its most vulnerable citizens. I'll never forgive myself for turning a deaf ear when my roommate was clearly crying out for help.
See also: deaf, ear, someone, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

deaf as a post

OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is as deaf as a post, they are very deaf. My Dad is as deaf as a post.
See also: deaf, post

turn a deaf ear

If you turn a deaf ear to something such as a request or argument, you refuse to consider it and do not pay any attention to it. She repeatedly complained to her employers but they turned a deaf ear. The Mayor of Paris, owner of two dogs, has long turned a deaf ear to Parisians who want tougher laws to protect the cleanliness of their pavements.
See also: deaf, ear, turn

fall on deaf ears

COMMON If something you say to someone, especially a request, falls on deaf ears, they take no notice of what you have said. Sadly, this appeal is likely to fall on deaf ears. The mayor spoke privately to Gibbs yesterday and asked him to resign, but his plea fell on deaf ears.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

deaf as an adder (or a post)

completely or extremely deaf.
The traditional deafness of an adder is based on an image in Psalm 58:4: ‘the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear’.
See also: adder, deaf

fall on deaf ears

(of a statement or request) be ignored by others.
1990 Ellen Kuzwayo Sit Down and Listen All efforts by her husband to dissuade her from wishing to leave fell on deaf ears.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

dialogue of the deaf

a discussion in which each party is unresponsive to what the others say.
The French equivalent dialogue des sourds is also sometimes used in English.
See also: deaf, dialogue, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(as) deaf as a ˈpost

(informal) unable to hear anything: You’ll have to shout if you want her to hear you. She’s as deaf as a post.
See also: deaf, post

fall on deaf ˈears

(of a question, request, etc.) be ignored or not noticed: Our request for money fell on deaf ears.
See also: deaf, ear, fall, on

turn a deaf ˈear (to something)

refuse to listen (to something); ignore something: She turned a deaf ear to her husband’s advice and took the job anyway.
See also: deaf, ear, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

deaf as a post

Unable to hear or to listen. The simile dates from the sixteenth century, when J. Palsgrave wrote (Acolastus, 1540), “He wotteth ful lyttel how deffe an eare I intended to gyue him . . . he were as good to tell his tale to a poste.” It caught on and has survived to the present, outliving such similes as deaf as an adder (first recorded in the Book of Psalms, 58:4–5), deaf as a beetle, and deaf as a white cat. See also fall on deaf ears; turn a blind eye/deaf ear.
See also: deaf, post

fall on deaf ears, to

To be disregarded. The expression most often refers to something a person does not wish to hear, such as a reproach or advice, and therefore he or she reacts as though physically unable to hear it. The term dates from the fifteenth century and has been a cliché since the nineteenth century.
See also: deaf, fall, on

turn a blind eye/deaf ear, to

To overlook something deliberately. One of these expressions appears to have a specific historic origin. In 1801 Lord Horatio Nelson, second in command of the English fleet, was besieging Copenhagen. The flagship had sent up signals for the fleet to withdraw, but Nelson wanted badly to attack. He had lost the sight of one eye at Calvi, so he put the glass to his blind eye and told his lieutenant he could see no signals to withdraw. His attack forced the French to surrender, a major victory. “Turning a deaf ear” to what one does not wish to hear is much older. Walter Hylton (Scala Perfeccionis) used it about 1440: “Make deef ere to hem as though thou herde hem not.” Versions of the cliché are found in all of the principal proverb collections from 1546 (John Heywood) to 1721 (James Kelly). See also fall on deaf ears.
See also: blind, deaf, eye, turn
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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