adjective, still·er, still·est.
  1. remaining in place or at rest; motionless; stationary: to stand still.
  2. free from sound or noise, as a place or persons; silent: to keep still about a matter.
  3. subdued or low in sound; hushed: a still, small voice.
  4. free from turbulence or commotion; peaceful; tranquil; calm: the still air.
  5. without waves or perceptible current; not flowing, as water.
  6. not effervescent or sparkling, as wine.
  7. Photography. noting, pertaining to, or used for making single photographs, as opposed to a motion picture.
  1. stillness or silence: the still of the night.
  2. Photography. a single photographic print, as one of the frames of a motion-picture film.
  1. at this or that time; as previously: Are you still here?
  2. up to this or that time; as yet: A day before departure we were still lacking an itinerary.
  3. in the future as in the past: Objections will still be made.
  4. even; in addition; yet (used to emphasize a comparative): still more complaints; still greater riches.
  5. even then; yet; nevertheless: to be rich and still crave more.
  6. without sound or movement; quietly: Sit still!
  7. at or to a greater distance or degree.
  8. Archaic. steadily; constantly; always.
  1. and yet; but yet; nevertheless: It was futile, still they fought.
verb (used with object)
  1. to silence or hush (sounds, voices, etc.).
  2. to calm, appease, or allay: to still a craving.
  3. to quiet, subdue, or cause to subside (waves, winds, commotion, tumult, passion, pain, etc.).
verb (used without object)
  1. to become still or quiet.
  1. still and all, nonetheless; even with everything considered: Even though you dislike us, still and all you should be polite.

Origin of still

before 900; (adj. and adv.) Middle English still(e), Old English stille; (noun) Middle English: a calm, derivative of the adj.; (v.) Middle English styllen, Old English stillan; (conjunction) derivative of the adv.; akin to German still (adj.), stille (adv.), stillen (v.), Dutch stil (adj. and adv.), stillen (v.); see stall1

Synonyms for still

Synonym study

2. Still, quiet, hushed, noiseless, silent indicate the absence of noise and of excitement or activity accompanied by sound. Still indicates the absence of sound or movement: The house was still. Quiet implies relative freedom from noise, activity, or excitement: a quiet engine; a quiet vacation. Hushed implies the suppression of sound or noise: a hushed whisper. Noiseless and silent characterize that which does not reveal its presence or movement by any sound: a noiseless footstep; silent dissent. 18. See but1.


  1. a distilling apparatus, consisting of a vessel in which a liquid is heated and vaporized and a cooling device or coil for condensing the vapor.
  2. a distillery.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to distill.

Origin of still

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English stillen, aphetic variant of distillen to distill; (noun) derivative of the v. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stills

Contemporary Examples of stills

Historical Examples of stills

British Dictionary definitions for stills


  1. (usually predicative) motionless; stationary
  2. undisturbed or tranquil; silent and calm
  3. not sparkling or effervescenta still wine
  4. gentle or quiet; subdued
  5. obsolete (of a child) dead at birth
  1. continuing now or in the future as in the pastdo you still love me?
  2. up to this or that time; yetI still don't know your name
  3. (often used with a comparative) even or yetstill more insults
  4. quiet or without movementsit still
  5. poetic, dialect always
  1. poetic silence or tranquillitythe still of the night
    1. a still photograph, esp of a scene from a motion-picture film
    2. (as modifier)a still camera
  1. to make or become still, quiet, or calm
  2. (tr) to allay or relieveher fears were stilled
sentence connector
  1. even then; neverthelessthe child has some new toys and still cries
Derived Formsstillness, noun

Word Origin for still

Old English stille; related to Old Saxon, Old High German stilli, Dutch stollen to curdle, Sanskrit sthānús immobile


  1. an apparatus for carrying out distillation, consisting of a vessel in which a mixture is heated, a condenser to turn the vapour back to liquid, and a receiver to hold the distilled liquid, used esp in the manufacture of spirits
  2. a place where spirits are made; distillery

Word Origin for still

C16: from Old French stiller to drip, from Latin stillāre, from stilla a drip; see distil
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 stills



Old English stille "motionless, stationary," from West Germanic *steljaz (cf. Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stille, Dutch stil, Old High German stilli, German still), from root *stel- "fixed, not moving, standing" (see stall (n.1)). Meaning "quiet, silent" emerged in later Old English. Euphemistic for "dead" in stillborn, etc. Still small voice is from KJV:

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. [1 Kings 19:11-13]



"distilling apparatus," 1530s, from Middle English stillen "to distill" (c.1300), a variant of distillen (see distill).



"to calm," Old English stillan, from stille "at rest" (see still (adj.)). Cognate with Old Saxon stillian, Old Norse stilla, Dutch, Old High German, German stillen. Related: Stilled; stilling.



"quietness, the silent part," c.1600 (in still of the night), from still (adj.). Meaning "ordinary photo" (as distinguished from a motion picture) is attested from 1916.



"even now, even then, yet" (e.g. still standing there), 1530s, from still (adj.) in the sense "without change or cessation, continual" (c.1300); the sense of "even, yet" (e.g. still more) is from 1730. Used as a conjunction from 1722.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with stills


In addition to the idioms beginning with still

  • still and all
  • still small voice
  • still waters run deep

also see:

  • heart misses a beat (stands still)
  • hold still
  • jury is still out
  • keep quiet (still)
  • quiet (still) as a mouse
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.