\ 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 Without the companion app, FurReal is still a responsive robot who makes calm, happy noises when kids pet it on its furred back, or barks a warning when its tail is tweaked. USA TODAY, "32 incredible coding toys that every kid will want," 27 Mar. 2020 For 40 minutes, with an online audience of, at times, more than 50,000, Curry asked basic questions and Fauci answered them, in a calm, informative manner. Ann Killion,, "Steph Curry is MVP for his coronavirus outreach, including Dr. Fauci Q&A," 26 Mar. 2020 Will leaders elsewhere in the country, who have demonstrated uneven and sometimes terrible leadership skills, learn to emulate Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who is being roundly applauded for his calm, bold decisions to slow the virus’ spread. cleveland, "Will leaders elsewhere emulate Gov. Mike DeWine’s bold, calm leadership on the coronavirus: bonus episode of This Week in the CLE," 14 Mar. 2020 As the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) wreaks havoc on societies across the world, the auto industry remains mostly in a calm, steady state. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Coronavirus Effects on Global Auto Production Remain Muted, for Now," 13 Mar. 2020 Grab a 12 oz Coffee Egg Cream and any one of their mouth-watering hearty toasts and enjoy the calm, surrounded by green friends. Drake Wilson, Sunset Magazine, "Rethink Plant-Based Dining: These Restaurants and Bars Have Incredible Houseplants and Florals," 10 Mar. 2020 Cross responded, with admirable calm, that the moms had thought it all through; Fife added that ACCE ran workshops on this sort of thing. E. Tammy Kim, The New York Review of Books, "Moms 4 Housing: Redefining the Right to a Home in Oakland," 9 Mar. 2020 The local chapter of the nonprofit organization is seeking volunteers with calm, friendly and obedient dogs to provide pet therapy to elderly and ill people around the greater area. Houston Chronicle, "March 4-17: Quilt shows, performances and St. Pat’s parade lined up for northwest Houston," 2 Mar. 2020 But one thing is keeping me calm: Dakota Johnson’s Architectural Digest house tour. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Dakota Johnson’s House Tour Is the Only Thing Keeping Me Calm Right Now," 13 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Amid the hourly updates on the new coronavirus, a single, calming fact stands out: a particle of happy news, hanging in a cloud of dread. Roxanne Khamsi, Wired, "They Say Coronavirus Isn't Airborne—but It's Definitely Borne By Air," 14 Mar. 2020 Some of the optimism and quiet confidence around the coronavirus threat in Nigeria in particular has been the relative transparency and communication efforts by the authorities in trying to both inform and calm speculation about the disease. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria has confirmed an Italian man as Sub-Saharan Africa’s first coronavirus case," 27 Feb. 2020 Unpretentious, yet at the same time elegant, subtle and calming, Flight Blue conveys a message of timelessness and enduring quality. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "One car color projects gutsy sense of style, 'unpretentious' confidence," 26 Feb. 2020 The surrounding gas acted as a damping agent, calming any instability like an air conditioner in a room of irritable siblings. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Cataclysmic bashing from giant planets occurred early in our Solar System's history," 21 Jan. 2020 Researchers found that classical music had an initial calming effect, but the mutts soon hungered for other tunes. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Where My Dogs At? Spotify Launches Playlists for Pets," 15 Jan. 2020 Luckily, her spare, haunting sound, which has made her a regular at art fairs and fashion shows—and is on full display on her debut EP—had a calming effect. Landon Nordeman, Town & Country, "Big in 2020: 7 Women to Watch," 14 Jan. 2020 The Furbo Dog Nanny Cam also alerts to barking and helps pet owners talk to and calm the dog. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Gifts for Guys Who Love Dogs," 22 Nov. 2019 After catching our breath and believing the fractured space of PC game launchers had calmed down for a second, yet another contender arrived on Tuesday: Rockstar Games. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Rockstar Games Launcher: We install it on Windows so you don’t have to [Updated]," 17 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Shoppers said the mood in the store was generally calm. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Inside 6 metro Detroit grocery stores during coronavirus scare," 15 Mar. 2020 Deciding whether to remain calm or freak out about the new normal of thousand-point selloffs isn't easy. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Here's why you should worry about the turbulent stock market... and why you shouldn't," 11 Mar. 2020 Now, years later and hundreds of flights under her belt, that anxiety has shifted, evolved, and—most recently—waned, as she's found strategies to stay calm on the road. Condé Nast Traveler, " Founder Jen Gotch on Anxiety and the Power of Mini Vacations," 11 Mar. 2020 Take it easy and the noise level drops to a relatively calm 68 decibels at a 70-mph cruise. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Gives the Velar the V-8 it Deserves," 11 Mar. 2020 Instead, the article, by a White House reporter, made Trump sound downright presidential, focusing on his effort to project calm. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Should Political Reporters Be Quarantined From Covering Covid-19?," 10 Mar. 2020 Two billionaires took to Twitter to urge calm amid the panic. Fortune, "Stock market mayhem sees Jack Ma crowned Asia’s new richest man," 10 Mar. 2020 Bexar County leaders urged the public to remain calm but vigilant and to use common sense regarding the coronavirus, even as a second wave of oversees evacuees is expected to arrive at JBSA-Lackland this week for quarantine. Scott Huddleston,, "Bexar County leaders urge public to remain calm," 10 Mar. 2020 His girl @love_dee_anna is a little more calm cool and collected... also needed when flipping houses! . Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "'Flipping 101 w/ Tarek El Moussa' Premiered With Rookie Flip Couple and a Driveway Nightmare," 5 Mar. 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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Learn More about calm

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

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 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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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

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