\ 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


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.

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 Tevoedjre served for two years as Annan’s special representative to the Ivory Coast, the West African country where a 1999 coup shattered decades of prosperity and calm, displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Washington Post, "Leading intellectual in Benin, Albert Tevoedjre, dies at 89," 6 Nov. 2019 The earlier incident was broken up by security forces, and an uneasy calm had returned to the embassy, although officials cut its staff to about 70 people., "TEHRAN — The US Embassy in Tehran remains frozen in 1979 as the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis approaches, a time capsule of revolutionary graffiti, Underwood typewriters, and rotary telephones.," 3 Nov. 2019 But the space has to evoke feelings of positivity and calm. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Transform Your Home Into A Wellness Sanctuary With These Easy Tips," 31 Oct. 2019 In mid-September, at the kitchen table of her new home in the running haven of Flagstaff, 7,000 feet above sea level, Hall oozed a calm confidence ahead of her upcoming races. Talya Minsberg, New York Times, "What’s Another Marathon? Relentless Racing Fuels Sara Hall," 31 Oct. 2019 Thousands of pro-independence demonstrators - mostly masked youths - took to the streets in the first flare-up in violence after a week of tense calm. Fox News, "Barcelona pro-independence protesters clash with police after massive peaceful rally," 26 Oct. 2019 But the importance is be together, not create a drama, be calm and provide calm for the team. Matias Grez, CNN, "Five-star Tottenham lifts the gloom in north London with hammering of Red Star," 22 Oct. 2019 Further Reading A sea of calm behind the wheel: The 2018 Audi Q5, reviewed Audi has offered a PHEV in the past, but only in the diminutive (by US standards) A3 e-tron. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "On the road with Audi’s new Q5 and A8 TFSI e plug-in hybrids," 15 Oct. 2019 For nature lovers or those seeking calm, there are nearly 1,800 acres of park, including a Japanese garden. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do in Santiago, Chile," 20 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It wasn’t calmed by a subsequent meeting to announce rent increases and a plan to install new water meters and charge for water separately. Washington Post, "Mobile home parks move from mom-and-pop to corporate," 16 Sep. 2019 Mike Berardino, IndyStar Kelly eventually calmed down, but the message was clear. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Brian Kelly: More explosive plays needed if Notre Dame is to stay with powerful Georgia," 14 Sep. 2019 Renner has narrow blue-green eyes and a face that can crumple—from playful to weary, vengeful to calm—at will. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Jeremy Renner’s Strange Summer," 6 Sep. 2019 When the Baoshang rescue spooked investors as the first instance of losses on interbank loans, the central bank quickly calmed them by injecting cash into the banking system. The Economist, "After three Chinese banks are bailed out, how many more are at risk?," 5 Sep. 2019 Yet when Aguilar gets into the stall and moves around him, the colt calms down. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Day in the life of a groom on the Del Mar backstretch," 24 Aug. 2019 There wasn’t time or space to date casually, get serious, move in, calm down, get married and then have a baby. Summer Block, Longreads, "Better Late," 23 Aug. 2019 Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell and my dogs still haven’t calmed down from all the fireworks. Houston Mitchell,, "The Sports Report: Kawhi Leonard is not a clock watcher," 5 July 2019 There's the floral noted Calvin Klein Women, the captivating Acqua Di Parma Rosa Nobile hair mist, and the ultra-calming Diana Vreeland Simply Divine Candle, just to name a few. Allure, "These Are the Best Fragrances of 2019," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Quinones seemed calm and expressionless during the chase., "News of the Day From Across the Nation," 8 Sep. 2019 Over the weekend, the gathering had been calm and good-natured. The Economist, "Protesters in Hong Kong take their grievances to the airport," 13 Aug. 2019 The weather was calm and sunny, which meant the two-day wait wasn’t dangerous; everyone was fine. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Climate change is luring cruise ships to sail risky Arctic passages," 1 Aug. 2019 Form and function melt when Claptone plays his sets, bright and dark, angry and warm-hearted, happy and sad, calm and outrageous. Kat Bein, Billboard, "11 DJs Who Wear Masks and the Stories Behind Them," 29 July 2019 Named after the British princess who stopped there for a dip in the 1950s, the water here is the bluest of blues, clear and calm and the ideal place to relax before jumping on the ferry to head back to Kingstown. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "Get Lost: 72 Hours in St. Vincent," 29 July 2019 Helping to encourage the walleye to hang around the shallow, western lake waters, despite the arrival of a hot, calm and humid July, had been a lengthy cool, wet spring. D'arcy Egan,, "Lake Erie walleye parade not slowed by mayfly hatch, hot weather: July 12 Fishing Report," 12 July 2019 So learn from this experience: Stay calm and carry on. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "4 chilling lessons from a tech hotline scam," 4 July 2019 Confidence: Medium Sunday night: Partly cloudy, and fairly calm, with mid- to upper 60s for low temperatures near dawn. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A hint of fall with breezes and clouds today, but don’t get used to it," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for calm

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for calm

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on calm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with calm

Spanish Central: Translation of calm

Nglish: Translation of calm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calm for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about calm

Comments on calm

What made you want to look up calm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread as a report or rumor

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