fell on deaf ears


      • discourage someone
        Advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit

      • not being listened to
        Describe a situation where someone's words or pleas are ignored or disregarded by others

    Examples of fell on deaf ears

    • The CEO's announcement of a company-wide pay raise fell on deaf ears during the staff meeting.

      The CEO's announcement of a company-wide pay raise did not receive any attention or reactions from the staff during the meeting. The news seemed to be ignored or disregarded by the employees, as if they were deaf and unable to hear the announcement.

    • The politician's impassioned plea for stricter gun control laws fell on deaf ears in Congress.

      The politician's strong and persuasive argument for stricter gun control laws did not convince or persuade the members of Congress. Their response to the politician's speech was akin to that of people who are deaf and cannot hear what is being said.

    • The teacher's explanation of the difficult math problem fell on deaf ears as the student continued to stare blankly at the page.

      The teacher's clear and concise explanation of the math problem did not register with the student. The student seemed to be oblivious to the teacher's words, as if they were deaf and unable to comprehend the lesson being taught.

    • The musician's hauntingly beautiful melody fell on deaf ears as the crowd chattered loudly in the background.

      The musician's captivating and melodic tune did not penetrate the chatter and noise of the crowd. The sound seemed to be drowned out by the loud chatter of the audience, as if they were deaf and unable to appreciate the musical performance.

    • The CEO's proposal to downsize the company was met with resistance from the board members. Despite his passionate speech and compelling arguments, his suggestions fell on deaf ears.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where a message or communication is ignored or not received by the intended audience. In this example, the CEO's proposal was rejected without proper consideration, as if his words simply bounced off the board members' ears without being acknowledged. The figure of speech emphasizes the failure of communication and the futility of the CEO's efforts to persuade the board members.


    The idiom "fell on deaf ears" can be used to discourage someone from a particular action or to describe a situation where someone's words are not being listened to. It can be used in various contexts to convey the idea of advice being ignored or pleas not being taken into consideration.

    Origin of "fell on deaf ears"

    The origin of the idiom "fell on deaf ears" can be traced back to the Bible, specifically in the book of Matthew 13:15. The phrase "For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes" is believed to be the origin of the idiom, conveying the idea of people being unwilling to listen or understand. Over time, the phrase evolved into the common idiom "fell on deaf ears" and has been used to describe the act of being ignored or not being listened to. Its biblical origin adds a sense of gravity to the expression, emphasizing the feeling of frustration and helplessness when one's words are not being heard. The idiom has since become a widely used phrase in the English language, capturing the universal experience of feeling unheard or disregarded.