\ 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 Ever since Alan Shepard launched skyward 59 years ago, the agency and its astronauts have nearly perfected the act of keeping calm in cramped quarters. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Astronaut's Guide To Staying Inside," 24 Mar. 2020 Wall Street was calm in early trading by the standards of the past few days, when traders — weighing the increasing likelihood of a recession against the huge economic support pledged by global authorities — have caused wild swings. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, "Italy’s coronavirus death toll tops China’s," 19 Mar. 2020 West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening Saturday: A chance of drizzle and snow before 11 a.m., then a chance of drizzle between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., then a slight chance of rain after 1 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Freezing temps bring chance of snow after Louisville's warm weather comes to an end," 6 Feb. 2020 The South Bend mayor—who seemed at the time like an island of calm in a sea of Democratic despair—listened to the students and offered words of balm and hope. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "After Iowa, All the Candidates Have Something to Prove," 5 Feb. 2020 To summon calm in the face of pressure is part of his legend. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Kobe Bryant soared beyond just basketball: He was showing what else is possible," 27 Jan. 2020 For those comrades who either turn to prayer when the Ravens’ play begins to turn sour or look to the young quarterback in place of an actual god, the Lamar Jackson prayer candle offers a sense of calm in dire moments. Hallie Miller,, "Holiday gift ideas for the Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Ravens fans in your life," 8 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, the European Union and other Latin American countries have called for calm in Bolivia as the next steps to find a successor are determined. Fox News, "Bolivia ex-president Evo Morales on the run as supporters clash with police, barricade roads," 12 Nov. 2019 In addition to providing a moment of calm in a busy day, learning to adapt an attitude of attentiveness can set off a domino effect of other positive reactions. Molly Stevens,, "Finding calm in the kitchen isn’t always easy. Here’s how to start.," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Legalisation of marijuana in some states may have calmed things down. The Economist, "Attention deficit disorder Whatever happened to Black Lives Matter?," 21 May 2020 At the diner, Jibran calms his nerves by driving Leilani crazy with a soliloquy about the extra dollop of milkshake that always arrives, in its metal shaker, along with the regular serving. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Lovebirds Is a Delightful Screwball Comedy Elevated by the Charms of Its Leading Duo," 21 May 2020 Stores in many areas of the country have calmed a bit and are restocking staples, but unemployment numbers continue to rise as businesses cut back or shut down in the face of economic uncertainty. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, "Bartering is back: When life gives you lemons, trade them for a neighbor’s hand sanitizer," 11 May 2020 Pearson has calmed down from the Hall of Fame snub and his grandson now playing for a different coach, Karl Dorrell, other than Tucker. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "It’s been a difficult year for Cowboys great Drew Pearson. Months after his Hall of Fame snub, he’s sure better days are ahead," 11 May 2020 This cream is a part of Kate Somerville's newest collection: Delikate, made for those with sensitive skin who are experiencing irritation and need calming, soothing ingredients. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Why Kate Somerville's DeliKate Recovery Cream Is Worth It," 29 Apr. 2020 The tracks are beautiful, calming, and utterly transporting. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "Throw Your Kids a Quarantine Campout," 11 Apr. 2020 Weather conditions in the Louisville area should calm down a bit for the rest of Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, though a slight chance of showers is in play between 9 p.m. and midnight. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Thousands without power in Kentucky and Southern Indiana following overnight storms," 9 Apr. 2020 But by morning his fever was at 101+ again and he was calmed. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Details Partner's COVID-19 Battle: "Felt Like One Wrong Move Could Kill Him"," 9 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The next morning the campus was calm, and students went about the business of classes and upcoming exams. Nancy K. Bristow, Time, "50 Years After the Jackson State Killings, America's Crisis of Racial Injustice Continues—and Shows the Danger of Forgetting," 14 May 2020 Doctors are racing to understand silent hypoxia, in which patients expected to be struggling for air are instead calm and responsive, using cell phones and chatting with physicians. Jun Michael Park, National Geographic, "There’s no earthquake to warn you, because you’re on the other side of the Indian Ocean.," 13 May 2020 Nonetheless, everyone is on their best behavior at lunch, and all remains very calm, likely less because the specter of Richard is looming large and more because Sonja is on her third day of a juice cleanse and hardly has the energy to speak. Jodi Walker,, "The Real Housewives of New York City recap: Show me the money," 8 May 2020 When deputies and firefighters arrived the pond was calm, but after 10 or 15 minutes the woman's body emerged, with the alligator still clamped onto her leg, Herriott said. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "Woman killed in alligator attack was manicurist on a house call during South Carolina lockdown," 7 May 2020 And while Friday is expected to have some gusty winds coming out of the Columbia River Gorge, Saturday and Sunday winds will be calm. oregonlive, "Warm days, sunny skies highlight Mother’s Day weekend," 6 May 2020 After just five to ten minutes of wearing this mask, my skin looks significantly better — brighter, calmer, clearer, and definitely less dull. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Indie Lee's I-Waken Resurfacing Mask Is Bringing My Dull, Dehydrated Skin Back to Life," 12 Apr. 2020 The sea was calm, with three-foot swells, and the tide almost slack. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, "Bringing in the Comfort," 6 Apr. 2020 Your children feed off your own emotions, so try to be calm. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus," 7 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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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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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