to fall on deaf ears

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - fall on deaf ears

"to fall on deaf ears"

to be heard but ignored;

to be heard but to have no effect


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - fall on deaf ears

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Every day, when I sit at my desk, I can smell diesel exhaust fumes coming from the truck bay on the other side of the wall. I have sent countless emails to management about this issue.

Colleague 2:  And?

Colleague 1:  No response at all. All my pleas for having this issue investigated have fallen on deaf ears.

Colleague 2:  Perhaps it is time to call Workplace Health and Safety. Maybe management would take notice if an outside government agency became involved.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - fall on deaf ears

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Your child is throwing a terrible tantrum. Aren't you going to do something?

Friend 2:  No. I find that if I allow this sort of behavior to fall on deaf ears that he quickly loses steam and then goes back to doing whatever he was doing before the tantrum.

Friend 1:  So you just ignore him?

Friend 2:  Sure. Works every time.

to fall on deaf ears - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,406   click for frequency by country

to fall on deaf ears - Gerund Form:

Falling on deaf ears, his request to have a traffic light installed on a busy street corner was ignored by city council.

to fall on deaf ears - Examples:

1)  Vasya's complaints to staff and management fell on deaf ears however, and there was nothing else he could do.

2)  ... for leniency, claiming it was only meant to be a prank, fell on deaf ears and it was widely rumoured that both men would surely face execution.

3)  ... three-year contract, they would waive the $150. But my argument fell on deaf ears. The rep told me that the $150 cancellation fee was non-negotiable, ...

4)  ... and they were forwarded to the general manager. My concerns fell on deaf ears. We were told that in order to keep perks and many things free ...

5)  A letter to the governors fell on deaf ears. Speaking truth to power is a lonely road.

6)  This incident suggests that a credible threat to use force does not fall on deaf ears in Damascus and may well yield swift results.

7)  I imagine it'll fall on deaf ears, but it's the most I can do for now.

8)  ... you can't let their attempts at communication fall on deaf ears. Social marketing isn't a broadcast medium ...

9)  Those calls may fall on deaf ears. Many experts think the Fed won't act that aggressively unless there is ...

10)  You don't know what I respect, so your judgemental remarks fall on deaf ears.

11)  The Committee's report seems to have fallen on deaf ears in London, however, and no tangible improvements followed.

12)  The warnings have, predictably, fallen on deaf ears. Who, after all, can resist the lure of free money?

13)  But he told me last week his warnings have fallen on deaf ears, with barely a peep by way of response from ...

14)  ... and my approaches to consultancies have fallen on deaf ears. Is there any way to get into this area?

15)  But my campaign has not made a shred of difference. It has fallen on deaf ears and still they are dying and being injured here.

16)  ... when negative comments hit - you can react as quickly as possible. Falling on deaf ears only builds the frustration and anger customers feel. 

17)  That all appeals to reason are falling on deaf ears. The comments here demonstrate it.

18)  They view the underlying structure of economy as the reason for their messages falling on deaf ears - they don't have enough money to be important to society.

19)  It's really disheartening to hear the message is falling on deaf ears.

20)  Like most kids once he knew the tantrum was falling on deaf ears he'd get up and get on with business.