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silence

[sahy-luh ns] /ˈsaɪ ləns/
noun
1.
absence of any sound or noise; stillness.
2.
the state or fact of being silent; muteness.
3.
absence or omission of mention, comment, or expressed concern:
the conspicuous silence of our newspapers on local graft.
4.
the state of being forgotten; oblivion:
in the news again after years of silence.
5.
concealment; secrecy.
verb (used with object), silenced, silencing.
6.
to put or bring to silence; still.
7.
to put (doubts, fears, etc.) to rest; quiet.
8.
Military. to still (enemy guns), as by more effective fire.
interjection
9.
be silent! “Silence!” the teacher shouted.
Origin of silence
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English (noun) < Old French < Latin silentium. See silent, -ence
Related forms
oversilence, noun
unsilenced, adjective
Synonyms
6. hush, quell, muzzle, gag.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for silence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Eudora persevered in silence, but her agitation obviously increased.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • The silence remained unbroken, until Paralus asked for music.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Each instinctively touched the other's arm, as a signal for silence.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • He was busy almost half an hour, while Uncle Peter smoked in silence.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Robert pointed in silence to the huge rock which lay on the track.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for silence

silence

/ˈsaɪləns/
noun
1.
the state or quality of being silent
2.
the absence of sound or noise; stillness
3.
refusal or failure to speak, communicate, etc, when expected: his silence on the subject of their promotion was alarming
4.
a period of time without noise
5.
oblivion or obscurity
verb (transitive)
6.
to bring to silence
7.
to put a stop to; extinguish: to silence all complaint
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin silēntium, from silēre to be quiet. See silent
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
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Word Origin and History for silence
n.

c.1200, "muteness, state of being silent," from Old French silence "state of being silent; absence of sound," from Latin silentium "a being silent," from silens, present participle of silere "be quiet or still," of unknown origin. Meaning "absence of sound" in English is from late 14c.

v.

1560s, intransitive, "become still or silent;" 1590s, transitive, "make silent," from silence (n.). Related: Silenced; silencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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