One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Disturbance or impairment of hearing; specifically †(a) (in early use) tinnitus (obsolete); (b) (more fully "paracusis of Willis") an apparent improvement in the ability to hear conversation in the presence of loud background noise, thought to be characteristic of certain types of conductive hearing loss, especially otosclerosis.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Physical Dictionary. From Hellenistic Greek παράκουσις defect of hearing (Galen) from ancient Greek παρα- + ἄκουσις hearing, after ancient Greek παρακούειν to hear imperfectly.
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