Origin of hush

1350–1400; apparently back formation from husht whist2 (Middle English huissht), the -t being taken for past participle suffix

Related forms

hush·ed·ly [huhsh-id-lee, huhsht-lee] /ˈhʌʃ ɪd li, ˈhʌʃt li/, adverbhush·ful, adjectivehush·ful·ly, adverbun·hush·ing, adjective

Synonym study

2, 3. See still1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hush

British Dictionary definitions for hush (1 of 2)


/ (hʌʃ) /


to make or become silent; quieten
to soothe or be soothed


stillness; silence
an act of hushing


a plea or demand for silence

Derived Forms

hushed, adjective

Word Origin for hush

C16: probably from earlier husht quiet!, the -t being thought to indicate a past participle

British Dictionary definitions for hush (2 of 2)


/ (hʌʃ) mining, Northern English /

verb (tr)

to run water over the ground to erode (surface soil), revealing the underlying strata and any valuable minerals present
to wash (an ore) by removing particles of earth with rushing water


a gush of water, esp when artificially produced

Word Origin for hush

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