Deaf and dumb
Dumb Dumb, a. [AS. dumb; akin to D. dom stupid, dumb, Sw. dumb, Goth. dumbs; cf. Gr. ? blind. See {Deaf}, and cf. {Dummy}.] 1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes. [1913 Webster]

To unloose the very tongues even of dumb creatures. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

2. Not willing to speak; mute; silent; not speaking; not accompanied by words; as, dumb show. [1913 Webster]

This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

To pierce into the dumb past. -- J. C. Shairp. [1913 Webster]

3. Lacking brightness or clearness, as a color. [R.] [1913 Webster]

Her stern was painted of a dumb white or dun color. --De Foe. [1913 Webster]

{Deaf and dumb}. See {Deaf-mute}.

{Dumb ague}, or {Dumb chill}, a form of intermittent fever which has no well-defined ``chill.'' [U.S.]

{Dumb animal}, any animal except man; -- usually restricted to a domestic quadruped; -- so called in contradistinction to man, who is a ``speaking animal.''

{Dumb cake}, a cake made in silence by girls on St. Mark's eve, with certain mystic ceremonies, to discover their future husbands. --Halliwell.

{Dumb cane} (Bot.), a west Indian plant of the Arum family ({Dieffenbachia seguina}), which, when chewed, causes the tongue to swell, and destroys temporarily the power of speech.

{Dumb crambo}. See under {crambo}.

{Dumb show}. (a) Formerly, a part of a dramatic representation, shown in pantomime. ``Inexplicable dumb shows and noise.'' --Shak. (b) Signs and gestures without words; as, to tell a story in dumb show.

{To strike dumb}, to confound; to astonish; to render silent by astonishment; or, it may be, to deprive of the power of speech.

Syn: Silent; speechless; noiseless. See {Mute}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • deaf and dumb — deaf and dumb, deaf and dumb deaf and dumbadj. both deaf and unable to speak; without the sense of hearing or the faculty of speech. Same as {Deaf mute}. [1913 Webster +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deaf-and-dumb — deaf and dumb, deaf and dumb deaf and dumbadj. both deaf and unable to speak; without the sense of hearing or the faculty of speech. Same as {Deaf mute}. [1913 Webster +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deaf-and-dumb — [def′ n dum′] adj. 1. deaf mute 2. of or for deaf mutes: Now regarded as offensive …   English World dictionary

  • deaf-and-dumb — deaf′ and dumb′ adj. Offensive. off sts unable to hear and speak • Etymology: 1150–1200 usage: See dumb …   From formal English to slang

  • deaf-and-dumb — adjective OFFENSIVE not able to hear or speak …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Deaf and dumb — the drum, inside information, e.g. I ll give you the deaf and dumb …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • deaf and dumb — I Australian Slang the drum, inside information, e.g. I ll give you the deaf and dumb II Cockney Rhyming Slang Bum …   English dialects glossary

  • deaf-and-dumb — adjective unable to hear or speak the deaf and dumb noun (plural) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • deaf and dumb — 1. adjective Being deaf and not knowing how to speak. Usually physically able to speak. 2. noun bum (behind, bottom) …   Wiktionary

  • deaf-and-dumb — adjective lacking the sense of hearing and the ability to speak • Syn: ↑deaf mute • Similar to: ↑deaf • Derivationally related forms: ↑deaf mute (for: ↑deaf mute), ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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