Keywords: deaf, deaf and dumb, deaf mute

Sign Definition

As a Noun

  1. A person who is unable to hear anything or unable to hear very well (especially the sounds of speech) and who tends not to use speech to communicate. English = a deaf person. Archaic English = a deaf and dumb person, a deaf mute person.
  2. People who are unable to hear anything or unable to hear very well (especially the sounds of speech) and who tend not to use speech to communicate. English = deaf people. Archaic English = deaf and dumb people, deaf mute people.
  3. People who are unable to hear anything or unable to hear very well (especially the sounds of speech), who tend not to use speech but use sign language instead. They form and identify as a community. English = the deaf, the Deaf. Archaic English = the deaf and dumb.

As a Verb or Adjective

  1. To be unable to hear anything or to be unable to hear very well (especially the sounds of speech). English = (be) deaf.
  2. To be unable to hear anything or to be unable to hear very well (especially the sounds of speech), and to not use speech. Archaic English = (be) deaf and dumb, (be) deaf mute.
  3. To relate to deaf people and their community. English = (be) Deaf.

Note

  1. Probably a direct translation of the English expressions 'deaf and dumb' or ‘deaf mute’. These expressions are rather old-fashioned. They are considered offensive by some deaf people (because ‘dumb’ also means ‘stupid’ in English, not just ‘mute’) or misleading (because many deaf people can make themselves understood using their voices, i.e., they are not mute or dumb at all). Nonetheless, the sign itself is quite neutral and inoffensive.