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adjective si·lent \ˈsī-lənt\

Simple Definition of silent

  • : not speaking or making noise

  • : tending not to talk much

  • : not having or making any sound or noise

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of silent

  1. 1a :  making no utterance :  mute, speechlessb :  indisposed to speak :  not loquacious

  2. 2 :  free from sound or noise :  still

  3. 3 :  performed or borne without utterance :  unspoken <silent prayer> <silent grief>

  4. 4a :  making no mention <history is silent about this person>b :  not widely or generally known or appreciated <the silent pressures on a person in public office>c :  making no protest or outcry <the silent majority>

  5. 5 :  unpronounced <the silent b in doubt>

  6. 6 :  not exhibiting the usual signs or symptoms of presence <a silent infection>

  7. 7a :  made without spoken dialogue <silent movies>b :  of or relating to silent movies

silently adverb
silentness noun

Examples of silent in a sentence

  1. She was silent for a few minutes as she thought about how to answer him.

  2. The crowd fell silent as the horrible news was read aloud.

  3. My father was a very silent man.

  4. He was the strong, silent type.

  5. He said he would call me, but the phone was silent all day.

  6. A long, silent pause followed her reply.

Origin of silent

Middle English sylent, from Latin silent-, silens, from present participle of silēre to be silent; akin to Gothic anasilan to cease, grow calm

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of silent

silent, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive mean showing restraint in speaking. silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed <the strong, silent type>. taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability <taciturn villagers>. reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs <was reticent about his plans>. reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange <greetings were brief, formal, and reserved>. secretive, too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal <the secretive research and development division>.



noun si·lent

Definition of silent

  1. :  a motion picture made without spoken dialogue —usually used in plural


First Known Use of silent


SILENT Defined for Kids


adjective si·lent \ˈsī-lənt\

Definition of silent for Students

  1. 1 :  not speaking <He stood silent for a moment, and then answered.>

  2. 2 :  not talkative <a silent person>

  3. 3 :  free from noise or sound :  still <Except for a ticking clock the house was silent.>

  4. 4 :  done or felt without being spoken <silent reading> <silent prayer>

  5. 5 :  making no mention <They were silent about their plan.>

  6. 6 :  not in operation <silent factories>

  7. 7 :  not pronounced <The letter e in “came” is silent.>

  8. 8 :  made without spoken dialogue <silent movies>

silently adverb

Medical Dictionary


adjective si·lent \ˈsī-lənt\

Medical Definition of silent

  1. 1:  not exhibiting the usual signs or symptoms of presence <a silent infection> <silent gallstones> <silent tuberculosis> <silent ischemia>

  2. 2:  yielding no detectable response to stimulation—used especially of an association area of the brain <silent cortex>

  3. 3:  having no detectable function or effect <silent DNA> <silent genes>

silently adverb

Law Dictionary


adjective si·lent

Legal Definition of silent

  1. 1 :  making no utterance :  resolved not to speak especially about a certain topic <the right to remain silent>

  2. 2 :  making no mention or account :  omitting explanation and leaving questions unanswered <a criminal statute silent as to the requirement of intent>

  3. 3 :  taking no active part in the conduct of a business <a silent member of a firm> — see also silent partner at partner

Seen and Heard

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to expose to danger or risk

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