• Anosmia = Loss of the sense of smell
  • Anopia = Blindness
  • Anaesthesia/Anaphia = Loss of the sense of touch
  • Ageusia = Loss of taste
  • ? = Deafness

I can't find an equivalent medical term for deafness. Is there one? I also find that the word 'deafness' suffers from a dearth of synonyms that do not involve the word 'deaf'.

Also, if there are terms that are more apt for the loss of the other traditional senses, please list them as well.


The suffix -acusis pertains to hearing, and is normally combined to form words like presbycusis (presby + acusis, age-related hearing loss) and paracusis (para + acusis, any hearing impairment).

When you combine the an- prefix (meaning not or without) with -acusis, you get anacusis -- deafness.

  • 2
    +1 Perfect! And here is the wikipedia link. I'll recognize it in my answer, if you don't mind, but this is the one that should be accepted.
    – Daniel
    Jul 19 '12 at 16:03
  • Nice one! Cheers :) Jul 19 '12 at 16:28
  • 1
    @JLG Interesting; in your last reference (which is linked to my answer), it says "anacusis or anakusis."
    – Gnawme
    Jul 19 '12 at 17:16
  • 2
    @JLG: Stedman's prefers anacusis and Mosby's has only that.
    – Mitch
    Jul 19 '12 at 17:17
  • 2
    Fun fact: "akouo" (ἀκούω) is ancient Greek for "I hear".
    – Kalamane
    Jul 19 '12 at 19:15

Deafness is the best single word you'll find, I think, though hearing impairment/loss is probably more common in the medical world.

Anacusis (from Gnawme's answer) is a medical term that means complete deafness.
[I'm only recognizing it here - he came up with it first. Please accept his answer.]

For your list, there's ageusia, the loss of the sense of taste, which should probably replace aphasia, since speech isn't a traditional human sense.


Following the pattern of anosmia and anopia, the equivalent for hearing would be anauria, from aural. Unfortunately, I can't find any evidence that it's an established word.

  • Yeah, I tried Googling that already, but it mostly only brings up references to a land in the Forgotten Realms.
    – Daniel
    Jul 19 '12 at 15:49
  • 3
    Alas, I've been guilty of mixing a Greek prefix with a Latin root. Gnawme's anacusis looks much better.
    – Simon
    Jul 19 '12 at 16:21

There is no all encompassing word for hearing loss other than deafness. This is because there a simply too many types of hearing loss.

Look here for a few of those http://ehealthmd.com/content/different-types-hearing-loss

  • Thanks :) There are many types of blindness too. Yet, we have words like anopia and amaurosis as potentially generic terms along with terms for particular cases such as nyctalopia, achromatopsia etc. It's odd that deafness alone does not carry words with a Latin root and from what I can tell nor do the various types of deafness. Jul 19 '12 at 15:46
  • 1
    I stand corrected by the answers above me. My search fu was bad yesterday. Jul 20 '12 at 10:18

Deafness, hearing impairment or hearing loss; all of these can be used in cases of partial or complete, temporary or permanent loss of hearing.

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