deaden Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb make vague or obscure or make (an image) less visible
    damp; dampen.
    • muffle the message
  2. verb cut a girdle around so as to kill by interrupting the circulation of water and nutrients
    • girdle the plant
  3. verb make vapid or deprive of spirit
    • deadened wine
  4. verb lessen the momentum or velocity of
    • deaden a ship's headway
  5. verb become lifeless, less lively, intense, or active; lose life, force, or vigor
  6. verb make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation
    • Terror blunted her feelings
    • deaden a sound
  7. verb convert (metallic mercury) into a grey powder consisting of minute globules, as by shaking with chalk or fatty oil


Dead"en transitive verb
From Dead; cf. AS. ddan to kill, put to death. See Dead, a.
imperfect & past participle Deadened ; present participle & verbal noun Deadening
  1. To make as dead; to impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation; to lessen the force or acuteness of; to blunt; as, to deaden the natural powers or feelings; to deaden a sound.
    As harper lays his open palm Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations. Longfellow.
  2. To lessen the velocity or momentum of; to retard; as, to deaden a ship's headway.
  3. To make vapid or spiritless; as, to deaden wine.
  4. To deprive of gloss or brilliancy; to obscure; as, to deaden gilding by a coat of size.

Webster 1913