calm

[kahm; older use kam; spelling pronunciation kahlm]
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adjective, calm·er, calm·est.
  1. without rough motion; still or nearly still: a calm sea.
  2. not windy or stormy: a calm day.
  3. free from excitement or passion; tranquil: a calm face; a calm manner.
noun
  1. freedom from motion or disturbance; stillness.
  2. Meteorology. wind speed of less than 1 mile per hour (0.447 m/sec).
  3. freedom from agitation, excitement, or passion; tranquillity; serenity: She faced the possibility of death with complete calm.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make calm: He calmed the excited dog.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become calm (usually followed by down).

Origin of calm

1350–1400; (noun, adj.) Middle English calm(e) < Italian calma (noun), calmo (adj.) < Late Latin cauma summer heat (with l perhaps from Latin calēre to be hot) < Greek kaûma (stem kaumat-) burning heat; akin to kaíein to burn (see caustic); (v.) Middle English calmen < Italian calmare, derivative of the noun
Related formscalm·ing·ly, adverbcalm·ly, adverbcalm·ness, nounqua·si-calm, adjectivequa·si-calm·ly, adverbun·calm, adjectiveun·calm·ly, adverbun·calm·ness, noun

Synonyms for calm

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Synonym study

3. Calm, collected, composed, cool imply the absence of agitation. Calm implies an unruffled state, especially under disturbing conditions: calm in a crisis. Collected implies complete inner command of oneself, usually as the result of an effort: He remained collected in spite of the excitement. One who is composed has or has gained dignified self-possession: pale but composed. Cool implies clarity of judgment along with apparent absence of strong feeling or excitement, especially in circumstances of danger or strain: so cool that he seemed calm.

Antonyms for calm

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for calming

sedative, ataractic

Examples from the Web for calming

Contemporary Examples of calming

Historical Examples of calming

  • As soon as Kirsty had succeeded in calming me, I told her the whole story.

  • Then calming down a bit, he added: 'Let every one do with their own as they think best.'

  • But he never heard any music, and this, instead of calming his nerves, made him sicker.

    Melomaniacs

    James Huneker

  • Adversity vexed and irritated, instead of calming and subduing her.

    Queen Elizabeth

    Jacob Abbott

  • "Yes, sir—you haven't many days left in it," said Mr. Burns calming down.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for calming

calm

adjective
  1. almost without motion; stilla calm sea
  2. meteorol of force 0 on the Beaufort scale; without wind
  3. not disturbed, agitated, or excited; under controlhe stayed calm throughout the confusion
  4. tranquil; serenea calm voice
noun
  1. an absence of disturbance or rough motion; stillness
  2. absence of wind
  3. tranquillity
verb
  1. (often foll by down) to make or become calm
Derived Formscalmly, adverbcalmness, noun

Word Origin for calm

C14: from Old French calme, from Old Italian calma, from Late Latin cauma heat, hence a rest during the heat of the day, from Greek kauma heat, from kaiein to burn
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

Word Origin and History for calming

calm

n.

late 14c., from Old French calme, carme "stillness, quiet, tranquility," from the adjective (see calm (adj.)).

calm

v.

late 14c., from Old French calmer or from calm (adj.). Related: Calmed; calming.

calm

adj.

late 14c., from Old French calme "tranquility, quiet," traditionally from Old Italian calma, from Late Latin cauma "heat of the mid-day sun" (in Italy, a time when everything rests and is still), from Greek kauma "heat" (especially of the sun), from kaiein "to burn" (see caustic). Spelling influenced by Latin calere "to be hot." Figurative application to social or mental conditions is 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper