turn a deaf ear


turn a deaf ear


  • choose not to hear
  • refuse to listen
  • to ignore what someone says

Example Sentences

  1. Please do not just turn a deaf ear to their cries for help.
  2. It was too cheap when Sarah turned a deaf ear to our insistence.
  3. The Bank tended to turn a deaf ear to ATM card lost complaints.
  4. When I asked Michael to go with me for help – he just turned a deaf ear.
  5. How can you turn a deaf ear to the crying victims of an accident?
  6. The police turned a deaf ear to all the pleas made by the girl’s family.
  7. The novelist has not turned a deaf ear to the criticisms.
  8. The current administration has turned a deaf ear to the majority.
  9. The customer had turned a deaf ear to the pending payments.
  10. I cannot turn a deaf ear to my family problems.


The idiomatic expression dated from the first half of the 1400s and was in most proverb collections from 1546 on.

Share your opinions1 Opinion

Dan O. here
i thot ‘turn a deaf ear’ could also apply to a person avoiding unwanted opinion, when that avoider happened to be deaf in only one ear, thus, turning deaf side toward speaker sends a message:
‘I won’t/can’t hear you!’

‒ Anonymous March 22, 2020

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