[ noun ] the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking)


"there was a shocked silence": "he gestured for silence"

Related terms

condition hush

[ noun ] the absence of sound




"he needed silence in order to sleep" "the street was quiet"

Used in print

(The Christian Science Monitor,...)

What followed the outburst brought almost breathless silence as Miss_Sutherland revealed her mastery of a voice probably unique among sopranos today .

(David Stacton, The Judges of the Secret Court....)

The beehive voices , for no_one could bear silence , drowned_out the sound of Mrs._Lincoln 's weeping .

(Glayds H. Barr, The Master of Geneva....)

John lifted his hand for silence .

(Arthur Miller, "The Prophecy," in The Best...)

She did this now , comfortably aware of the mist running down the windows , of the silence outside , of the dark afternoon it was getting_to be .

(Whit Masterson, Evil Come, Evil Go....)

Otherwise , the silence was complete .

[ noun ] a refusal to speak when expected




"his silence about my contribution was surprising"

Used in print

(Edward P. Lawton, "Northern Liberals and Southern...)

There seems to be almost a conspiracy of silence veiling it .

(Bruce Palmer, "My Brother's Keeper", Many Are...)

Perhaps it would be better to speak_to him , since silence could not exorcise his form .

(James Thurber, "The Future, If Any, of Comedy,"...)

We sat for_a_while drinking in silence .

There was a long silence .

Related terms

uncommunicativeness hush

[ verb ] cause to be quiet or not talk


"Please silence the children in the church!"

Used in print

("National Affairs"...)

The slugs flattened ten tires and silenced one of the inboard engines ; the plane slowed to a halt .

(Glenn Infield, "America's Secret Poison Gas Tragedy"...)

To silence extremists , to warn the Axis , President_Roosevelt issued this statement for the Allies in August :

(Cliff Farrell, Trail of the Tattered Star....)

Mike silenced them .

(B. J. Chute, The Moon and the Thorn....)

Next to the Blackwells , Titus had owned the island most , and she and Adelia had often stood in front of him , silenced by his terrible years - a scanty man with a thin beard and very deep-set blue eyes like a mariner , more aged than possible .

[ noun ] the trait of keeping things secret

Used in print

(Harold Rosenberg, "The Trial and Eichmann"...)

As the first collective confrontation of the Nazi outrage , the Trial of Eichmann represents a recovery of the Jews from the shock of the death camps , a recovery that took fifteen years and which is still by_no_means complete ( though let no one believe that it could be hastened by silence ) .

Related terms

uncommunicativeness mum

[ verb ] keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure


"All dissenters were silenced when the dictator assumed power"

Related terms

suppress secrecy

[ verb ] get rid of, silence, or suppress




"burke an issue"

Related terms