deaf-mutism :

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  • n  congenital deafness that results in inability to speak

  • But so-called congenital deaf-mutism is actually a misnomer because inborn defects of the vocal cords that make speech impossible are almost unknown.
  • Scarcely a finger was crooked concerning the causes of deaf-mutism (chiefly whooping cough, scarlet fever, various types of meningitis, severe falls).

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