1. a device or material employed to deaden or render dull.
  2. a device or material preventing the transmission of sound.
  3. a woodland in which the trees are killed by girdling prior to being cleared.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make less sensitive, active, energetic, or forcible; weaken: to deaden sound; to deaden the senses; to deaden the force of a blow.
  2. to lessen the velocity of; retard: to deaden the headway of a ship.
  3. to make impervious to sound, as a floor.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become dead.


  1. to make or become less sensitive, intense, lively, etc; damp or be damped down; dull
  2. (tr) to make acoustically less resonanthe deadened the room with heavy curtains

1660s “deprive of or diminish (some quality),” from dead (adj.) + -en (1). Earlier the verb was simply dead. Related: Deadened; deadening.

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