silent

[sahy-luhnt]

adjective

noun

Usually silents. silent films.

Origin of silent

1555–65; < Latin silent- (stem of silēns), present participle of silēre to be quiet; see -ent
Related formssi·lent·ly, adverbsi·lent·ness, nouno·ver·si·lent, adjectiveo·ver·si·lent·ly, adverbo·ver·si·lent·ness, nounsu·per·si·lent, adjectivesu·per·si·lent·ly, adverbun·si·lent, adjectiveun·si·lent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for silent

Synonym study

1. See still1.

Antonyms for silent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for silent

Contemporary Examples of silent

Historical Examples of silent

  • Some of these bright beings are speaking, and others are silent.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • In this holy atmosphere we paused for a moment in silent reverence.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • He is silent and abstracted, like one just returned from the cave of Trophonius.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • "I told him high altitudes and high livin' would do any man—" Again he was silent.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She was silent and motionless for another five minutes, thinking intently.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for silent

silent

adjective

characterized by an absence or near absence of noise or sounda silent house
tending to speak very little or not at all
unable to speak
failing to speak, communicate, etc, when expectedthe witness chose to remain silent
not spoken or expressedsilent assent
not active or in operationa silent volcano
(of a letter) used in the conventional orthography of a word but no longer pronounced in that wordthe ``k'' in ``know'' is silent
denoting a film that has no accompanying soundtrack, esp one made before 1927, when such soundtracks were developed

noun

a silent film
Derived Formssilently, adverbsilentness, noun

Word Origin for silent

C16: from Latin silēns, from silēre to be quiet
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 silent
adj.

c.1500, "without speech, silent, not speaking," from Latin silentem (nominative silens) "still, calm, quiet," present participle of silere "be quiet or still" (see silence (n.)). Meaning "free from noise or sound" is from 1580s.

Of letters, c.1600; of films, 1914. In the looser sense "of few words," from 1840. Phrase strong, silent (type) is attested from 1905. Silent majority in the political sense of "mass of people whose moderate views are not publicly expressed and thus overlooked" is first attested 1955 in a British context and was used by John F. Kennedy but is most associated in U.S. with the rhetoric of the Nixon administration (1969-74).

It is time for America's silent majority to stand up for its rights, and let us remember the American majority includes every minority. America's silent majority is bewildered by irrational protest. [Spiro T. Agnew, May 9, 1969]

In Victorian use, the phrase meant "the dead" (1874; cf. Roman use of the noun plural of "silent" to mean "the dead"). Silence is golden (1831) is Carlyle's translation ["Sartor Resartus"] of part of the "Swiss Inscription" Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

silent in Medicine

silent

[sīlənt]

adj.

Producing no detectable signs or symptoms. Used of certain diseases or pathological processes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

silent in Science

silent

[sīlənt]

Relating to a mutation that changes a nucleotide in a codon without a difference in the amino acid for which it is coded. See more at point mutation.
Producing no detectable signs or symptoms, as a medical condition such as heart attack.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.