Webster 1913's definition of this term is presumably accurate for the beliefs of the early part of the twentieth century. Today, though, such a statement would be considered both inaccurate and downright insulting, as many deaf people speak quite well, though ability may be related to the level of hearing loss.

See also: deaf and dumb.

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.


© Webster 1913.

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