adjective, qui·et·er, qui·et·est.

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to become quiet (often followed by down).

Origin of quiet

1350–1400; (adj.) Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin quiētus, past participle of quiēscere (see quiescent); (v.) Middle English quieten, partly derivative of the adj., partly < Late Latin quiētāre, derivative of quiētus. Cf. coy
Related formsqui·et·er, nounqui·et·ly, adverbqui·et·ness, nounun·qui·et·ed, adjectiveun·qui·et·ing, adjective
Can be confusedquiescent quietquiet quit quitequietness quietude

Synonyms for quiet

5. calm, serene. 9. unmoving. 14. still, hush, silence. 15, 17. lull, soothe.

Synonym study

2. See still1.

Antonyms for quiet

2. noisy. 5. perturbed. 9. active.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quietly

Contemporary Examples of quietly

Historical Examples of quietly

  • "I can't quite agree with you there," said the lawyer, quietly.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Yes, Stephen himself it was, who had quietly walked into the court.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • She quietly yielded, but her color came and went, and her lips moved as if to speak.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • He is not a great preacher, but he is quietly earnest and instructive.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • "I think you were right about the holy children," she said quietly.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for quietly



in a quiet manner
just quietly Australian between you and me; confidentially



characterized by an absence or near absence of noisea quiet street
characterized by an absence of turbulent motion or disturbance; peaceful, calm, or tranquila quiet glade; the sea is quiet tonight
free from activities, distractions, worries, etc; untroubleda quiet life; a quiet day at work
marked by an absence of work, orders, etc; not busythe factory is very quiet at the moment
private; not public; secreta quiet word with someone
free from anger, impatience, or other extreme emotiona quiet disposition
free from pretentiousness or vain display; modest or reservedquiet humour
astronomy (of the sun) exhibiting a very low number of sunspots, solar flares, and other surface phenomena; inactiveCompare active (def. 8)


the state of being silent, peaceful, or untroubled
on the quiet without other people knowing; secretly


a less common word for quieten
Derived Formsquietness, noun

Word Origin for quiet

C14: from Latin quiētus, past participle of quiēscere to rest, from quiēs repose, rest
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 quietly



c.1300, "freedom from disturbance or conflict; calm, stillness," from Old French quiete "rest, repose, tranquility" and directly from Latin quies (genitive quietis) "a lying still, rest, repose, peace," from PIE root *qwi- "rest" (cf. Old Persian shiyati-, Avestan shaiti- "well-being;" Avestan shyata- "happy;" Gothic hveila, Old English hwil "space of time;" see while (n.)). Late 14c. as "inactivity, rest, repose."



late 14c., "peaceable, at rest, restful, tranquil," from Old French quiet and directly from Latin quietus "calm, at rest, free from exertion," from quies (genitive quietis) "rest" (see quiet (n.)). As an adverb from 1570s. Related: Quietly; quietness.



late 14c., "subdue, lessen," from quiet (adj.) and in part from Latin quietare. From mid-15c. as "to make silent, cause to be quiet;" intransitive sense of "become quiet, be silent" is from 1791. Related: Quieted; quieting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with quietly


In addition to the idiom beginning with quiet

  • quiet as a mouse

also see:

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