\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Though trouble may be brewing between Fabienne and Lumir, on the other side of it lies calm. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Generational Anxieties of “The Truth”," 13 Mar. 2020 Journalists have to keep up and keep the public informed and keep calm, all at the same time. Brian Stelter, CNN, "The great shutdown of 2020: How newsrooms and media companies are adapting," 12 Mar. 2020 Be smart, practice social distancing and keep calm. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Limits Public Gatherings to 50, Cautions Public on Panic: "Don't Lose Your Heads"," 12 Mar. 2020 On a turbulent, confusing and surreal Wednesday night on which the 2019-20 NBA season chillingly screeched, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stepped forth with calm, logic, reassurance and perhaps most important, accessibility. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "On a chilling night, Mark Cuban steps forward with logic, reassurance, expects shortened NBA regular season and delayed playoffs," 12 Mar. 2020 As its European peers took these unprecedented steps, England tried to keep calm and carry on. Hasit Shah, Quartz, "Coronavirus might cancel European soccer," 11 Mar. 2020 The Red Raiders kept calm, sank their free throws, and escaped Austin with a 62-57 win. Nick Moyle,, "Backs against the wall, surging Texas gets another shot at No. 22 Texas Tech," 28 Feb. 2020 An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again Even in the midst of crisis, the royal family keep calm and carry on! Simon Perry,, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Show No Sign of Stress on First Post-Royal Family Crisis Outing," 15 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calm

Time Traveler for calm

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for calm

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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