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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Deaf·ness n.
 1. Incapacity of perceiving sounds; the state of the organs which prevents the impression which constitute hearing; want of the sense of hearing.
 2. Unwillingness to hear; voluntary rejection of what is addressed to the understanding.
 Nervous deafness, a variety of deafness dependent upon morbid change in some portion of the nervous system, especially the auditory nerve.