Definition of deaden in English:



  • 1 Make (a noise or sensation) less strong or intense.

    ‘ether was used to deaden the pain’
    • ‘The microphone had a windscreen and extra foam that deadened the noise of raindrops falling on the microphone.’
    • ‘I carry them with me wherever I go and they help deaden the pain.’
    • ‘It was at this time he suffered the devastating loss of his parents and he said heroin deadened his pain.’
    • ‘Additional lighting will be installed at each end of the court and special fencing will be built to deaden the sound.’
    • ‘He is certainly successful in this, creating a wonderfully intimate sound with no plush production to deaden the enjoyment.’
    • ‘They would wear canvass over their boots to deaden the sound of their feet on the rubble, fearful that any noise would alert the German machine gunners.’
    • ‘Close all the curtains and turn on the radio or television to deaden the noise.’
    • ‘The absence of a roof deadens the sound; there's none of the ominous rumble that's a trademark of enclosed pools.’
    • ‘There could be no doubt that ether, properly applied, rendered the subject wholly unconscious, deadened the pain of operation, and represented little risk to recovery.’
    • ‘Yes, it did deaden pain, but it also reduced inhibitions and made a person react with their instincts.’
    • ‘He drank huge quantities of wine in order to deaden the pain.’
    • ‘This will help deaden the noise of heavy footfalls and provides a much kinder surface to unhook fish on than hard boards.’
    • ‘For the old and withered Nonna Rosa, he restores her youthful dewiness, awakening all the passion deadened by her long passionless marriage.’
    • ‘Tail-coated ushers move them gently along the brown carpet that deadens the footsteps.’
    • ‘Though two girlfriends were at my side for emotional support, I needed something extra to help me relax (and deaden the pain) while I got my first tattoo a few weeks ago.’
    • ‘After the drugs used to deaden the pain were leached from his system, Ian woke.’
    • ‘If there is a criticism to be made, it is that the album is rather unrelenting in its pace, deadening the impact of the later songs.’
    • ‘The recent fall of snow, laid in a thick carpet, deadened any sound, adding to the tranquillity and pristine feel of the mountains.’
    • ‘I stuffed tissues into my ears to deaden the sounds of conflict from the other rooms.’
    • ‘Corridors are floored with black linoleum, which deadens noise and adds to the devout atmosphere, as if science were some kind of holy order.’
    muffle, mute, smother, stifle, dull, damp, damp down, tone down, hush, silence, quieten, soften, cushion, blanket, buffer, absorb
    numb, stifle, dull, blunt, suppress
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    1. 1.1Deprive of the power of sensation.
      ‘diabetes can deaden the nerve endings’
      • ‘I asked my oncologist for a tube of cream which deadens the skin so you don't feel the puncture.’
      • ‘It is a narcotic that dulls the brain and deadens the nerves.’
      • ‘Tobacco has a deadening and stupefying effect upon the nerves.’
      • ‘It also deadens pain receptors at the injury site.’
      • ‘Between the water draining, the cool water pouring in, and her skin deadened from sensation, the pain started to become tolerable.’
      • ‘At least it's got caffeine, and it deadens my tongue and it's cold as ice.’
      • ‘Cantus sighed in relief, relaxing as I deadened his nerves.’
      • ‘Such hyperbole deadens the sensitivity to moral distinctions in public discourse.’
      • ‘It's a deadening of the nerve cells of the nerve endings in the lower extremities.’
      • ‘What is this if not a sinister project of deadening the senses, so that destruction of life goes on as naturally as life itself?’
      • ‘His mind screamed at him not to, but his nerves were deadened, refusing to respond.’
      • ‘As Lester strongly points out, from simple lack of awareness we are deadening our senses by becoming tuned out.’
      • ‘The tongue is a very delicate piece of equipment, but smoking deadens the taste.’
      • ‘I settle for a Camembert baguette, a bolet of chilled cider deadening my tongue to the sock aftershock.’
      • ‘Based on its placement, I would bet that it has deadened the nerve, so that you would indeed feel no pain.’
      • ‘However, in this situation, like most others, we smokers have a slight advantage; our nasal nerves have long since been deadened with a film of tar.’
      desensitize, render insensitive, make insensitive, numb, benumb, anaesthetize
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    2. 1.2Deprive of force or vitality; stultify.
      ‘the syllabus has deadened the teaching process’
      ‘a deadening routine’
      • ‘He and his researchers have explored the archives and newspaper morgues with determination, so that the central events are told with an almost deadening thoroughness.’
      • ‘Then you start touring and it deadens your mind a bit.’
      • ‘Music deadens the mind with its repetitive noises, movies brainwash us into predictable behavior, and travelling narrows our horizons into a world of tourist traps and sophistry.’
      • ‘Without wonder, men and women would lapse into deadening routine and little by little would become incapable of a life which is genuinely personal.’
      • ‘Life is busier than ever for most couples and it's easy to fall into a routine that deadens your marriage.’
      • ‘I strongly recommend the book for anyone who thinks manners are boring, deadening constraints on their individuality.’
      • ‘Both men understood that powerful aspects of their art were deadened by analysis.’
      • ‘Even if you ignore the health-threatening combination of junk TV and junk food, it's obvious that television deadens children's capacity to develop.’
      • ‘He has a bit of a bee in his bonnet about the deadening effect on teaching of a society afraid to take risks.’
      • ‘The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women.’
      • ‘The biggest complaint you hear these days from country folk is about the sheer, deadening weight of bureaucracy.’
      • ‘Then it flew back into my mind with hideous, deadening force.’
      • ‘Stale routine can be deadening and it appears to me that you are following a routine here lately, with business and other daily affairs.’
      • ‘Her eyes are pained and deadened, but somehow sad and regretting.’
      • ‘I push my deadened feet up, forcing them to move, my hands stuck by my side as I turn the corner into the lounge.’
      • ‘I have made it a primary goal to integrate my work with my passionate interests, mostly in order to avoid the mid-life crisis of waking up to a soul-deadening modern job.’
      • ‘Sadly, the supporting non-celebrity players deliver their lines in the same deadened monotone that passes for the industry standard in video game voice acting.’
      • ‘What had been deadening this country, I think, was not so mysterious.’
      • ‘This is not because I am particularly involved or interested in my job, but because the deadening routine is not conducive to creativity or insight.’
      • ‘Over the years, his humanity has been submerged through a deadening routine.’
    3. 1.3Make (someone) insensitive to something.
      ‘laughter might deaden us to the moral issue’
      • ‘While the language of propaganda demonizes whole peoples and deadens us to the effects of policy decisions, poetry wakes us up.’
      • ‘But we should also expect that chemicals and treatments will be developed that deaden the future soldier's sensation of fear.’
      • ‘He asks us to believe that one infant can change the world not as some sentimental pap which deadens us to the pain around us or as some convenient bandage to slap over profound brokenness.’
      • ‘The Christian legalization of belief in Christ has deadened us to the free openness of his life.’
      • ‘You don't let it drown you, or deaden you to the point that you're afraid to feel anything for fear of being hurt.’
      • ‘When we treat fish and other animals like little more than a piece of sporting equipment it deadens all of us.’
      • ‘The sex - well, I'm still not getting any, but working sixteen hour days three times a week, and 8 hour days the other three, is deadening me sufficiently that I don't feel this so acutely.’
      • ‘Twenty years of blockbusters have deadened audiences to the excitement of big armies and lavish effects.’
      • ‘In this culture, we are deadened to the effects of our lives on other people, other animals, on natural resources every day.’
      • ‘The superficiality, the alienation, the escapism, and the hollowness are a result of a steady bombardment of confusing and deadening messages designed to reduce us to passive consumers.’
      • ‘The only way you could remain a communist, he said later, was by deadening your conscience, by inducing a moral narcosis.’
      • ‘The city deadens us to beauty.’
      • ‘And as a result, you start to build up these thick walls that deaden you.’
      • ‘As with personal healing, social healing requires us to awaken from the cultural trance that deadens us to what is possible.’