Origin of hush

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

British Dictionary definitions for hush up (1 of 3)

hush up


verb

(tr, adverb) to suppress information or rumours about

British Dictionary definitions for hush up (2 of 3)

hush

1
/ (hʌʃ) /

verb

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

noun

stillness; silence
an act of hushing

interjection

a plea or demand for silence
Derived Formshushed, 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 up (3 of 3)

hush

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

noun

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

Word Origin and History for hush up

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

Idioms and Phrases with hush up

hush up


Keep from public knowledge, suppress mention of. For example, They tried to hush up the damaging details. [First half of 1600s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.