calm

noun
\ 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.

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the subdued calm, many Palestinians say, should not be mistaken for acceptance. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "West Bank Grows Calmer as Pocketbook Issues Take Priority Over Protests," 8 July 2019 The bucolic calm on the banks gives way to graceful colleges, and thereafter to urban development as the Thames approaches London. The Economist, "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song," 22 June 2019 The calm may be good for your retirement account, but less so for these heavyweights. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Stocks Are On a Tear. What’s Holding These Exchanges Back?," 21 June 2019 Anyone who has clocked a few hours driving through the bush knows how overbearing the sound (and smell) of a diesel motor can be—and the calm that descends the moment that engine is silenced. Lee Middleton, Quartz Africa, "Luxury safaris are trying to reinvent by getting greener and curbing an “Out of Africa” culture," 14 June 2019 Moments later a worker wielding a leaf blower interrupted the yogic calm. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "Authenticity is the biggest challenge of the influencer world," 10 June 2019 Rant to the Jet Ski riders in the slough, spoiling the sabbatical calm with mechanized din. Seattle Times Readers, The Seattle Times, "Rant & Rave: Let’s hear it for the Sounders band," 19 May 2019 For us, bubbles put the fizz in champagne and the calm in bathtime. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "How these spiders use bubbles to live underwater," 16 May 2019 But given the relative calm of our weekday afternoon visit, many people were simply lounging about enjoying the cloudy but warm day. Stefanie Waldek, House Beautiful, "What Every Chip and Joanna Gaines Fan Should Know Before Visiting Waco, Texas," 14 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Last month, the council heard a traffic analysis and concept plan for possible traffic-calming changes along San Miguel Avenue from Federal Boulevard east to Massachusetts Avenue. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mother of boy hit and killed by car in Lemon Grove files claim against city," 3 July 2019 At the Serenity Spa, island chill-outsplurges include the guavaberry and sugar scrubs fragrant with the small red berries that grow in the hills and a calming lavender and vanilla massage. Melanie Reffes, USA TODAY, "After Hurricane Irma, St. Martin resorts have rebuilt to become bigger and better," 2 July 2019 Pet owners are advised to keep their pets indoors with a way to buffer the sound of fireworks, such as soothing music, closing the windows and finding a calming object to give them, Christensen said. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "First responders warn citizens to be careful with fireworks," 28 June 2019 In a two-hour Democratic presidential debate Thursday that often threatened to turn into a political free-for-all, California Sen. Kamala Harris was quick to take command as the calming voice of reason. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Kamala Harris takes command during heated presidential debate," 28 June 2019 This time of year, Troy collects linden blossoms and bracts to make a calming floral tea-like tissane. Colleen Smith, The Denver Post, "Tips on harvesting herbs for good food and your good health," 27 June 2019 Or was this calming persona calculated to make the best long-term use of it? Peter Marks, Washington Post, "An aura of authority," 24 June 2019 The walls are painted a calming blue — Sherwin Williams North Star — and other shades of the hue add to the space’s cool, comfortable feel. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "This luxury Highlands home was 3 years in the making. See why it was worth wait," 20 June 2019 Traffic calming measures could include re-striping of lanes, speed humps, medians and landscaped islands. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Residents speak on South Windsor’s speeding issues, traffic calming plan," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

My husband is supportive, so our household is calm and reassuring. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: Single man falls off friends’ radar after they get married," 18 June 2019 When the waters are calm and clear, good numbers of smallmouth bass, catfish and panfish are being caught. D'arcy Egan, cleveland.com, "If you aren’t catching walleye on Lake Erie, you aren’t trying: June 14 Fishing Report," 14 June 2019 As tensions with the U.S. over trade have escalated, China’s government has turned to state media to carry a message to the public: Stay calm and confident knowing that Beijing is in control. Eva Dou, WSJ, "Keep Calm: China’s Media Says Not to Worry About Trade Fight With U.S.," 9 May 2019 Guests were allowed to return to their rooms around 4:45 a.m. Damon King, whose family was visiting from Oklahoma City, said the evacuation was calm and orderly. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Smoke in electrical room forces brief evacuation at Grapevine's Great Wolf Lodge," 2 July 2019 There's some evidence that therapeutic robots like Paro, a fluffy seal used in some hospitals, can make people feel calmer and more social. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Second Coming of the Robot Pet," 1 July 2019 On Wednesday last week, three officers with London's Metropolitan Police were stationed nearby, and Ratcliffe appeared remarkably calm and together. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says Iran is trying to silence protest in London," 23 June 2019 The mood at the rally Sunday was calm and peaceful, but disgust with the government was the overwhelming sentiment. Marc Santora, BostonGlobe.com, "In the largest protests in decades, Czechs demand resignation of prime minister," 23 June 2019 Dashcam video showed that the pair was calm and cooperative – but things changed when the officer found a bag in the backseat. CBS News, "Cops said it was meth – it was cotton candy: Inside the nationwide crime lab backlog," 20 June 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

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

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Statistics for calm

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for calm

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

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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 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.

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

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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

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