tone deafness

(redirected from tone-deaf)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


The preferred term for the inability to distinguish among different musical notes, making it impossible to sing or play a musical instrument; tone deafness.

Sensory amusia—The external input is defective, due to either:
• Inability to read musical notation (musical alexia, music blindness, musical blindness, note blindness, receptive amusia); or
• Inability to interpret musical sounds (a condition for which the term tone deafness is most appropriate).
Motor amusia—The internal component or ability to generate music is defective, divided into:
• Vocal amusia; and
• Instrumental amusia.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

tone deafness

The inability to detect differences in musical sounds.
Synonym: asonia
See also: deafness
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Is each one tone-deaf and an inattentive listener besides?
Finally, despite his sensitivity to Machiavelli's language, Viroli is sometimes remarkably tone-deaf, as when he presents Machiavelli's letters about his trip to Carpi, a politically unimportant, and hence degrading, mission to find a preacher for the Medici, simply as evidence of his patriotism, ignoring the anger, frustration, and malice in his saying he will find them a preacher, but one to suit h is own tastes, one like Frate Alberto, the rascally trickster and seducer in Boccaccio's Decameron.
Even Morriss's tone-deaf whine couldn't spoil this.
Instead, possessing neither the strategic vision we might have hoped for nor the political savvy we naturally expected from this lifelong politician, Clinton has placed himself--and us--at the permanent mercy of tone-deaf politicos and inbred establishment neandertals whose extraordinary lack of strategic acumen is matched only by their pronounced ignorance of and indifference to the military.
Tone-deaf MP John Carlisle was wakened from his slumbers in Bedfordshire yesterday by the authentic sound of a Scots piper, courtesy of the Mail.
Lizzie Otley plays sister Lisa for X Factor-style laughs, with tone-deaf warbling.
The man has foisted the mostly saccharine sweet, ghastly ballads known to mankind on his tone-deaf fans, now looks like a Toy Story character - the glistening, wrinkle-free features are not, he insists, the result of botched cosmetic surgery.
Islamic critics of the pope contend he's tone-deaf to the way many Muslims perceive themselves to be under siege from the West.
with songs from Erasure's Andy Bell, Michael Ball, Corrie's Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondalgh), Rufus Hound, a tone-deaf Jon Snow and all the congregation.
There are more tone-deaf hopefuls to chuckle at in another phase of the audition room stage.
The shock-haired twins can murder popular musical hits with their ADD-fuelled, tone-deaf cavorting, we'll simply turn off the radio every time they come on.
Later With Jools Holland (BBC2, 10pm) EVER since the late, lamented Top Of The Pops was finally put out of its misery, there's been a dearth of music shows on terrestrial TV that don't involve tone-deaf wannabes and phone votes.