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[sahy-luh n-ser]
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  1. a person or thing that silences.
  2. a device for deadening the report of a firearm.
  3. Chiefly British. the muffler on an internal-combustion engine.
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Origin of silencer

First recorded in 1625–35; silence + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for silencer


  1. any device designed to reduce noise, esp the tubular device containing baffle plates in the exhaust system of a motor vehicleUS and Canadian name: muffler
  2. a tubular device fitted to the muzzle of a firearm to deaden the report
  3. a person or thing that silences
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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 silencer


c.1600, "person who silences," agent noun from silence (v.). Meaning "mechanism that stifles the sound of a motor or firearm" is from 1898.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper