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.

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T 1 Thought

1 Thought

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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Idiom of the Day

put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on


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