- making no sound; quiet; still: a silent motor.
- refraining from speech.
- speechless; mute.
- not inclined to speak; taciturn; reticent.
- characterized by absence of speech or sound: a silent prayer.
- unspoken; tacit: a silent assent.
- omitting mention of something, as in a narrative: The records are silent about this crime.
- inactive or quiescent, as a volcano.
- not sounded or pronounced: The “b” in “doubt” is a silent letter.
- Movies. not having spoken dialogue or a soundtrack.
- Medicine/Medical. producing no symptoms: silent gallstones.
- Usually silents. silent films.
Origin of silent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for silent
Hitchcock had the historical good fortune to have worked from silent films through television.
Hitchcock is silent for a moment as Batliner checks on Connery's availability.
His entry into the business of film making was as designer and writer of title cards for silent films.
Some were silent from shock, others giddy and smiling as they boarded the U.S. Air Force C-130s.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
The people behind the new film, however, have been silent on the issue.‘The Hunger Games’ Stars Silent on Thai Protesters
November 21, 2014
He is silent and abstracted, like one just returned from the cave of Trophonius.
"I told him high altitudes and high livin' would do any man—" Again he was silent.
Some of these bright beings are speaking, and others are silent.
In this holy atmosphere we paused for a moment in silent reverence.
She was silent and motionless for another five minutes, thinking intently.
- characterized by an absence or near absence of noise or sounda silent house
- tending to speak very little or not at all
- unable to speak
- failing to speak, communicate, etc, when expectedthe witness chose to remain silent
- not spoken or expressedsilent assent
- not active or in operationa silent volcano
- (of a letter) used in the conventional orthography of a word but no longer pronounced in that wordthe ``k'' in ``know'' is silent
- denoting a film that has no accompanying soundtrack, esp one made before 1927, when such soundtracks were developed
- a silent film
Word Origin and History for silent
c.1500, "without speech, silent, not speaking," from Latin silentem (nominative silens) "still, calm, quiet," present participle of silere "be quiet or still" (see silence (n.)). Meaning "free from noise or sound" is from 1580s.
Of letters, c.1600; of films, 1914. In the looser sense "of few words," from 1840. Phrase strong, silent (type) is attested from 1905. Silent majority in the political sense of "mass of people whose moderate views are not publicly expressed and thus overlooked" is first attested 1955 in a British context and was used by John F. Kennedy but is most associated in U.S. with the rhetoric of the Nixon administration (1969-74).
It is time for America's silent majority to stand up for its rights, and let us remember the American majority includes every minority. America's silent majority is bewildered by irrational protest. [Spiro T. Agnew, May 9, 1969]
In Victorian use, the phrase meant "the dead" (1874; cf. Roman use of the noun plural of "silent" to mean "the dead"). Silence is golden (1831) is Carlyle's translation ["Sartor Resartus"] of part of the "Swiss Inscription" Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden.
- Producing no detectable signs or symptoms. Used of certain diseases or pathological processes.
- Relating to a mutation that changes a nucleotide in a codon without a difference in the amino acid for which it is coded. See more at point mutation.
- Producing no detectable signs or symptoms, as a medical condition such as heart attack.