calm

noun
\ ˈkäm, ˈkälm, 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.

calm

verb
calmed; calming; calms

Definition of calm (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

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

calm

adjective

Definition of calm (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from calm

Adjective

calmly adverb
calmness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for calm

Adjective

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

Adjective

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Efforts by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to instill calm into a jittery market appeared to have little impact. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bond Prices Rise as Stocks Fall," 24 Dec. 2018 Our breath is critical to staying centered and relaxed, allowing for the calm focus required to experience orgasm and pleasure. Gigi Engle, SELF, "How to Get Really Comfortable in Your Body for Sex," 8 Dec. 2018 There was a calm inner peace, halfway around the world in a war zone, a calm inner peace, god's therapy. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of George P. Bush's Eulogy for His Grandfather, George H.W. Bush," 6 Dec. 2018 The authors speculate that those differences could be explained by culture-specific expectations and preferences for overt excitement and content calm. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "How orgasm faces differ between people from Eastern and Western cultures," 9 Oct. 2018 Those benefits are more energy, inner calm and mental clarity. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Still, financial markets in Asia fell sharply on the development before erasing some of those early losses as investors responded with calm. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Trump launches $34 billion trade war and China 'immediately' fires back," 6 July 2018 Things will undoubtedly get hectic, so under this lunation, do your best to find a moment of calm. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 The children practiced staying calm and attaching the puppy’s leash. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Bagpipes or Urdu? After-School Options Multiply," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But at least one study has demonstrated that the chore can calm the washer down and increase inspiration—as long as one approaches the task the right way. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Is Hand-Washing Dishes A Secret To The Success Of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates?," 29 Dec. 2018 Even at this clip, even with the bumps, the tight tunnel is mesmerizing, almost calming. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "I Went to the Opening of Elon Musk's First Boring Company Tunnel and Here Is What I Found," 19 Dec. 2018 Newsletter Sign-up Relatively steady U.S. economic numbers—including a robust report on consumer spending from the Commerce Department—haven’t calmed the markets. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Slower Overseas Growth Fans Worries on U.S. Expansion," 14 Dec. 2018 The cool color palette of the couple’s furnishings, a mix of midcentury modern and contemporary pieces, keep the space feeling open and calming. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "A Portland couple trades in a farmhouse for their midcentury dream home," 27 Aug. 2018 The vibrant purple flowers, the calming scent, and the DIY crafting and cooking potential. Therese Ciesinski, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Lavender Anywhere — Even Indoors," 9 Aug. 2018 Wednesday’s statement appeared to be aimed at calming international markets. Washington Post, "Bahrain says Gulf neighbors will provide economic aid," 27 June 2018 Whether pristine clean or not, water adds a majestic element to the already calming practice of yoga. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "I tried, and enjoyed, Philly paddle board yoga over the dirty Delaware River," 22 June 2018 The fragrance also has notes of calming Peru balsam, which is a sweet resin that the brand says adds depth to the otherwise fresh and herbaceous ingredients. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Mugler’s New Perfume Was Inspired by Gardens and Monks," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Things aren’t going to get calmer, more stable, more placid and predictable in the coming year. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Trump Insiders, Come Out of the Shadows," 27 Dec. 2018 America’s political past was not more procedural and restrained than its present, and religion does not, in general, calm political divides. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The political tribalism of Andrew Sullivan," 11 Dec. 2018 Ashley Graham is as calm, cool, and collected as supermodels come. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "From Makeup Tricks to Simple Self-Care Tips, Ashley Graham's Stress-Free Guide to Holiday Vacation Packing," 8 Dec. 2018 Consistency is key, as traditional design seeks to create a calm, orderly space, so furnishings will match, symmetry is huge, and everything seems to just go together. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Design," 12 Oct. 2018 There’s a calmer, cheaper way to split from your spouse in your sunset years. Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "Senior splitting from your spouse? 'Collaborative divorce' is a friendlier, cheaper way," 5 July 2018 In the 5-minute navy video, the boys were seen wearing their soccer uniforms and were calm, curious, and polite. Tassanee Vejpongsa, BostonGlobe.com, "Forecast of heavy rain could complicate Thai cave rescue," 3 July 2018 In the five-minute navy video, the boys are seen wearing their soccer uniforms and are calm, curious and polite. Tassanee Vejpongsa, chicagotribune.com, "Thai official: Boys may have to dive from cave despite peril," 3 July 2018 Here, a few tips to keep dogs calm, and maybe even happy until the fireworks are over. Southern Living, "How to Keep Dogs Calm During Fireworks," 3 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of calm

Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calm

Statistics for calm

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for calm

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for calm

calm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of calm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a quiet and peaceful state or condition

: a peaceful mental or emotional state

calm

verb

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.

calm

adjective

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.

calm

noun
\ ˈkäm, 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.

calm

verb
calmed; calming

Kids Definition of calm (Entry 2 of 3)

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

calm

adjective
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
calmness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on calm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with calm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calm

Spanish Central: Translation of calm

Nglish: Translation of calm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!