\ ˈkäm How to pronounce calm (audio) , ˈkälm How to pronounce calm (audio) , ˈkam, ˈkȯ(l)m \

Definition of calm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a period or condition of freedom from storms, high winds, or rough activity of water a sailing ship motionless in the calm
b : complete absence of wind or presence of wind having a speed no greater than one mile (1.6 kilometers) per hour — see Beaufort Scale Table
2 : a state of tranquility At dusk a quiet calm settled over the town.


calmed; calming; calms

Definition of calm (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to become calm usually used with downThe mayor asked the protesters to calm down so he could speak.

transitive verb

: to make calm often used with downcalm him down; get him to be reasonable— S. H. Adams

Definition of calm (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : marked by calm : still a calm sea
2 : free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance

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Other Words from calm


calmly adverb
calmness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for calm


calm, tranquil, serene, placid, peaceful mean quiet and free from disturbance. calm often implies a contrast with a foregoing or nearby state of agitation or violence. the protests ended, and the streets were calm again tranquil suggests a very deep quietude or composure. the tranquil beauty of a formal garden serene stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility. watched the sunset of a serene summer's evening placid suggests an undisturbed appearance and often implies a degree of complacency. remained placid despite the criticism peaceful implies a state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil. grown peaceful in old age

Examples of calm in a Sentence

Noun After two days of violent protests, the mayor appealed for calm. The calm was broken by another terrorist bombing. the calm of a church Police tried to restore calm after the riot. A quiet calm settled over the city. Verb His words were effective in calming her fears. The medicine helped calm her breathing. Adjective The teacher asked us to remain calm after the fire alarm went off. Let's try to have a calm discussion about your grades.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Braver Angels and other groups appealing for calm and civility are hopeful that their efforts can act as a tourniquet on the country's political wounds. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "'The country’s lost its mind': Polls warning of civil war, violence shows deep partisan chasm over election," 7 Oct. 2020 But the alarming uncertainty around his health is an argument for the calm and stability that Biden represents. Steve Chapman,, "Column: The price of Trump’s reckless COVID-19 conduct," 2 Oct. 2020 Places that once seemed the oasis of calm and decency, now extolled as examples of chaos and misrule. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "The Trump-Biden debate cast America as victim, not global leader," 30 Sep. 2020 In his first game of 2020, Nix came out with a new level of calm and confidence. Giana Han, al, "Instant analysis: Auburn shows its growth and changes in win over Kentucky," 26 Sep. 2020 Perhaps its Glenn-Copeland’s example of boldly living as a transgender man or his dedicated Buddhist practice that imparts a sense of calm and perseverance. Washington Post, "Don’t despair: Beverly Glenn-Copeland actually has hope to offer us in 2020," 25 Sep. 2020 The work was giving me a sense of calm and purpose. Nancy Meyers, New York Times, "‘Father of the Bride,’ the Pandemic and Me," 25 Sep. 2020 Kwesi is highly regarded for his steadfast calm and humor and, increasingly, for his prayers on behalf of the group in times of mortal danger. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Away’ Review: High Drama in Space," 3 Sep. 2020 After destruction and violence on Monday and Tuesday, including a shooting that killed two people and wounded one, Blake Sr. called for calm and civility. Jessica Rodriguez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thousands march with Jacob Blake family in Kenosha and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Rep. Gwen Moore call for change," 29 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb However, if your anxiety persists, discuss it with your physician, who may be able to prescribe something to calm you down. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: She warned her man she’d be moving south. Was he listening?," 27 Sep. 2020 Then there's Tyler, who's doing really well, and decides to take a moment to calm himself down. Kyle Fowle,, "Big Brother recap: Finally, a veto winner willing to shake up the game," 16 Sep. 2020 Take five deep breaths to calm yourself in the morning or throughout the day. Sheryl Jean, Dallas News, "Meditation and mindfulness ease caregivers’ stress," 24 Aug. 2020 This position also allows for quick access when mom needs to calm it with a lick! Michael Brown-palsgrove, Laurie Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, "Top 10 Giant Panda Cub Cam Moments," 21 Aug. 2020 Several warnings were given, and multiple attempts to calm her were unsuccessful. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, "Boyfriend passes out at drug store: Avon Lake Police Blotter," 7 Aug. 2020 Harlan, scared about his new powers, starts to freak out and Sissy is unable to calm him down. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything About Vanya and Sissy's Relationship in "The Umbrella Academy" Season 2," 7 Aug. 2020 Therapists often turn to the sensory diet when developing a child’s ability to calm themselves and focus—something many kids are struggling with now. Jamie Kiffel-alcheh, National Geographic, "Tricks to settle your fidgeters, wigglers, and fingernail biters," 9 Sep. 2020 Because Crohn’s is usually painful and is associated with complications including bowel perforation, anemia and malnutrition, patients are usually treated with medications to calm down the immune system and reduce the inflammation. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "He Had Recurring Pain for Nearly a Decade," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Emily Bamorth reports the scene around the Cleveland Clinic was noisy and filled with people, but largely calm, with small groups holding signs and couple of vendors selling apparel with political messages. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cleveland hosts debate, peaceful protests in national spotlight: The Wake Up for Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020," 30 Sep. 2020 More than just relaying an address to emergency responders, 911 call takers calm or console people at the worst moments of their lives. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Mat-Su 911 dispatchers featured on new show as Alaska makes its latest appearance on reality TV," 27 Sep. 2020 On Friday night, there was calm, solace and prayer, to go along with the food and music the church had prepared. Matt Mencarini, The Courier-Journal, "Breonna Taylor live updates: National Guard presence seen in downtown Louisville," 26 Sep. 2020 But the protests in New Orleans had been largely calm, with New Orleans police even kneeling with demonstrators who had blocked Interstate 10 near downtown. Jeff Adelson,, "Police use of tear gas is now restricted in New Orleans, but what cases are the exceptions?," 17 Sep. 2020 Hager says that things are relatively calm, without major parties, as far as she's seen at Wesleyan. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Even the most cautious schools are seeing outbreaks," 17 Sep. 2020 Despite Sally’s remnants making their closest approach, winds are nearly calm. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Showers from Sally brush the area today, leaving behind a clear, cool weekend," 17 Sep. 2020 The fate of that area was also uncertain Wednesday, but Frank Moore was calm about it. Carisa Cegavske, oregonlive, "WWII vet married 77 years forced to evacuate twice, says beloved wife most important: ‘I have the treasure with me’," 11 Sep. 2020 After three nights of violent demonstrations, looting and fires, Kenosha’s streets were relatively calm Wednesday night. Dan Hinkel,, "Kyle Rittenhouse charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Kenosha shootings that killed 2," 27 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of calm


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for calm

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English calme, probably ultimately from Old Spanish calma, from Late Latin cauma heat, from Greek kauma, from kaiein to burn

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Time Traveler for calm

Time Traveler

The first known use of calm was in the 14th century

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Statistics for calm

Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for calm


How to pronounce calm (audio) How to pronounce calm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of calm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a quiet and peaceful state or condition
: a peaceful mental or emotional state



English Language Learners Definition of calm (Entry 2 of 3)

: to become or to cause (someone) to become less upset, emotional, excited, etc.
: to become or to cause (something) to become less active, violent, forceful, etc.

English Language Learners Definition of calm (Entry 3 of 3)

: not angry, upset, excited, etc.
used to describe weather that is not windy, stormy, etc.


\ ˈkäm How to pronounce calm (audio) , ˈkälm \

Kids Definition of calm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a period or condition of freedom from storm, wind, or rough water
2 : a quiet and peaceful state We enjoyed the calm of the countryside.


calmed; calming

Kids Definition of calm (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make or become less active or disturbed often used with downThe music calmed her.The winds calmed down overnight.
calmer; calmest

Kids Definition of calm (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : not stormy or windy a calm night
2 : not excited or upset a calm reply Please remain calm.

Other Words from calm

calmly adverb spoke calmly

Choose the Right Synonym for calm


calm, peaceful, and tranquil mean quiet and free from disturbance. calm is used when someone is not excited or upset even when there is cause for it. They stayed calm during the fire. peaceful is used when someone or something has reached a quiet state after some period of disturbance. The storm is over and the lake is peaceful again. tranquil is used for a total or lasting state of rest. They stopped at a tranquil garden.

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Comments on calm

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