Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To render less intense, sensitive, or vigorous: a medication to deaden the pain; wall tiles that deaden the sound from the rehearsal studio.
  • transitive v. To make soundproof.
  • transitive v. To make less colorful or brilliant.
  • intransitive v. To become dead.
  • intransitive v. To lose vigor, brilliance, or liveliness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To render less lively; to diminish; to muffle.
  • v. To become less lively; to diminish (by itself).
  • v. To make soundproof.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make as dead; to impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation; to lessen the force or acuteness of; to blunt
  • transitive v. To lessen the velocity or momentum of; to retard.
  • transitive v. To make vapid or spiritless.
  • transitive v. To deprive of gloss or brilliancy; to obscure.
  • transitive v. To render impervious to sound, as a wall or floor; to deafen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make dead (in a figurative sense); render less sensitive, active, energetic, or forcible; impair the sensitiveness or the strength of; dull; weaken: as, to deaden sound; to deaden the force of a ball; to deaden the sensibilities.
  • To retard; hinder; lessen the velocity or momentum of: as, to deaden a ship's way (that is, to retard her progress).
  • To make impervious to sound, as a floor.
  • To make insipid, flat, or stale: said of wine or beer.
  • To deprive of gloss or brilliancy: as, to deaden gilding by a coat of size.
  • To kill; especially, to kill (trees) by girdling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. lessen the momentum or velocity of
  • v. become lifeless, less lively, intense, or active; lose life, force, or vigor
  • v. make vapid or deprive of spirit
  • v. cut a girdle around so as to kill by interrupting the circulation of water and nutrients
  • v. make vague or obscure or make (an image) less visible
  • v. make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation
  • v. convert (metallic mercury) into a grey powder consisting of minute globules, as by shaking with chalk or fatty oil

Etymologies

dead +‎ -en (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The air in the little chamber surrounding the mirror is compressed at will, so as to act like a cushion, and 'deaden' the movements of the mirror.

    Heroes of the Telegraph

  • Jokes aside, this 100 minute thing made us realize that spreading the story over several months would kind of deaden the impact of the timeframe device, not to mention starting the war a month after #0.

    Superman Homepage - News

  • The residents also say the structures will "deaden" the atmosphere of the Lower Town neighborhood, stunt economic development in the area and violate the city's Northeast Area Plan - a set of goals, land-use recommendations and objectives for the area surrounding the proposed site.

    The Michigan Daily

  • This flag will ward off any spells that want to deaden your imagination, stop you from ecstatically moving, and prevent the wind of spirit from blowing.

    The Bushman Way of Tracking God

  • They are looking for anything that will deaden the never-ending inner ache.

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Anthony Weiner and Why Powerful Men Self-Destruct

  • It's like the New Agers who all believe that they were princesses in a past life - none of these schmoes stops to think that, for most of them, life would have ended at 40, having spent most of their existence breathing in coal dust or risking limbs for enough wages to keep a roof over their head and to buy enough alcohol to deaden the pain until the next day's twelve-hour shift.

    Deadwood as the model of a Conservatives Utopia

  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles only served to deaden my love for the Terminator mythos further, as the casting choices were predominantly poor and the storylines meandered between plodding and preposterous -- but this isn't about my lament for a failed franchise, it's about a promising novel.

    Wish List Wednesday #27: The Alchemy of Stone

  • It brought me back to her dying day when I would sit and watch her moan with tubes in her arms, the endless morphine drip that somehow would try to deaden the horrible cancer pain.

    Brooklyn Story

  • They also do a lot to absorb vibration and deaden the felt-shock to your hand, which is also great.

    What do you think of string suppressors for your bow? Are they worth it?

  • Get one and it will ballance your bow and also deaden the shock.

    What setup do you have for bowhunting?

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