Deaf"-mute`(?), n. A person who is deaf and dumb; one who, through deprivation or defect of hearing, has either failed the acquire the power of speech, or has lost it. [See Illust. of Dactylology.]
Deaf-mutes are still so called, even when, by artificial methods, they have been taught to speak imperfectly.
deaf-mutismn. the condition of being a deaf-mute; a congenital deafness that results in inability to speak.
[1913 Webster WordNet 1.5]
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