Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

hush

[huhsh] /hʌʃ/
interjection
1.
(used as a command to be silent or quiet.)
verb (used without object)
2.
to become or be silent or quiet:
They hushed as the judge walked in.
verb (used with object)
3.
to make silent; silence.
4.
to suppress mention of; keep concealed (often followed by up):
They hushed up the scandal.
5.
to calm, quiet, or allay:
to hush someone's fears.
noun
6.
silence or quiet, especially after noise.
7.
Phonetics. either of the sibilant sounds (sh) and (zh).
adjective
8.
Archaic. silent; quiet.
Origin of hush
1350-1400
1350-1400; apparently back formation from husht whist2 (Middle English huissht), the -t being taken for past participle suffix
Related forms
hushedly
[huhsh-id-lee, huhsht-lee] /ˈhʌʃ ɪd li, ˈhʌʃt li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
hushful, adjective
hushfully, adverb
unhushing, adjective
Synonyms
6. peace, stillness, tranquillity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for hushing
Historical Examples
  • "You may well say that," continued Mrs. C——, hushing down the enthusiasm of her friends with a wave of her whitely gloved hand.

    A Noble Woman Ann S. Stephens
  • This let old Simon in for it again and there was no hushing it up a second time.

    Simon J. Storer Clouston
  • Tod took him up in his arms, tenderly as if he had been a new-born baby that he was hushing to the rest of death.

    Johnny Ludlow, Third Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • No amount of hushing has any effect; you might just as well hush a blackbird or a thrush.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • The big red-headed woman, considerably lowered in note, stepped inside the door of the sick-room, hushing the child in her arms.

    Judith of the Cumberlands Alice MacGowan
  • Some sin, some compromise, some hushing of that inner voice, something wrong.

    Quiet Talks on Power S.D. Gordon
  • His whimper was becoming a wail when she succeeded in hushing him.

    Concerning Sally William John Hopkins
  • She paced the room with it the livelong night, hushing it and soothing it.

  • And then she rocked back and forward, as if to make it sleep, hushing it, and wasting on it her infinite fondness.

    Spare Hours John Brown
  • He half rose from his chair, hushing my mocking word with a gesture.

    Amazing Grace Kate Trimble Sharber
British Dictionary definitions for hushing

hush1

/hʌʃ/
verb
1.
to make or become silent; quieten
2.
to soothe or be soothed
noun
3.
stillness; silence
4.
an act of hushing
interjection
5.
a plea or demand for silence
Derived Forms
hushed, adjective
Word Origin
C16: probably from earlier husht quiet!, the -t being thought to indicate a past participle

hush2

/hʌʃ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to run water over the ground to erode (surface soil), revealing the underlying strata and any valuable minerals present
2.
to wash (an ore) by removing particles of earth with rushing water
noun
3.
a gush of water, esp when artificially produced
Word Origin
C18: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hushing

hush

v.

1540s, variant of Middle English huisht (late 14c.), probably of imitative origin, with terminal -t lost probably by being mistaken for a past tense suffix. Hush-hush (adj.) is 1916 reduplication. Related: Hushed; hushing. The noun is attested from 1680s. As an interjection meaning "be quiet," attested by c.1600. To hush (one's) mouth "be quiet" is attested from 1878. Hush up "suppress talk for secrecy's sake" is from 1630s. Hush-money is attested from 1709. Hush-puppy "deep-fried ball of cornmeal batter" first attested 1899; as a type of lightweight soft shoe, it is a proprietary name, registered 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hush

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hushing

14
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for hushing