\ 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 Today, some calm has returned to the markets ahead of the big payrolls report, with U.S. futures and European stocks rebounding. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Jittery investors eye today’s big jobs report as markets rebound from an epic sell-off," 4 Sep. 2020 That calm stood in stark contrast to fire hot spots just miles outside of town where residents have been evacuated with homes and property burned and ash still falling like fresh snow. Sam Whiting,, "Firefighters battling Bay Area blazes brace for new lightning round as LNU, SCU fires grow to historic proportions," 23 Aug. 2020 Tensions have risen in recent weeks following a period of relative calm after federal law enforcement left Portland last month. Washington Post, "Portland protesters set fire inside county building as tensions continue to escalate," 19 Aug. 2020 South Korean healthcare workers have been struggling to contain clusters of the disease after weeks of relative calm. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Anti-lockdown pastor in South Korea tests positive for coronavirus," 18 Aug. 2020 Despite the risks, the fishermen say being at sea for several hours brings a calm. Matias Delacroix And Juan Pablo ArrÁez, Star Tribune, "Venezuelans brave open sea on tubes, fishing for survival," 15 Aug. 2020 Many other countries and cities have seen dispiriting rises in cases after months of relative calm. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Once praised for taming the pandemic, Asian-Pacific nations worry about new onslaught," 4 Aug. 2020 Springfield: After months of relative calm, the state’s southwest corner is now a hot spot for the coronavirus. USA TODAY, "Nail salons, strip club outbreak, Harvard from afar: News from around our 50 states," 8 July 2020 In prior years the agency had been beset by a series of leadership missteps; Erickson steered the department through a period of relative calm afterwards, as the state’s jobless rate fell to an all-time low of 3.3%. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Gov. Kate Brown fires director of Oregon Employment Department over delays in delivering jobless benefits," 31 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Northwesterly breezes around 10 mph slowly try to calm below 5 mph by late afternoon. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Comfortable warmth ahead. Tomorrow’s the gem of the weekend.," 4 Sep. 2020 It's made with soothing botanicals to soothe, dipeptides to calm, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "A Specially Formulated Face Mask Is the One Step Your Skincare Routine Is Missing," 1 Sep. 2020 These articles were aimed to calm us by explaining that the political havoc in our country is pretty normal. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: On discourse and reality, and Calvinism vs. racism. Plus: Electric vehicles.," 28 Aug. 2020 Practice fetch with an obedience retrieving dumbbell. Healthy food and hemp or CBD products are used to calm pets that have anxiety or hyperactivity. oregonlive, "Explore 10 ‘purr-fect’ cat patios from your home: See the 8th Annual Catio Tour virtually," 21 Aug. 2020 The mutinous soldiers — who identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People — tried to calm concerns in an address on state broadcaster ORTM early Wednesday. Baba Ahmed And Carley Petesch,, "Mali coup leaders vow elections amid global condemnation from leaders fearing developments could set dangerous precedent," 19 Aug. 2020 The rescue fund, which will be financed by the sale of joint bonds, has helped calm fears of a breakup. Fortune, "King euro: why investors are flocking to the common currency and shunning the dollar," 11 Aug. 2020 Police put him in a chokehold, and paramedics gave him 500 milligrams of ketamine to calm him down. CBS News, "Colorado attorney general announces broader probe of Aurora Police Department," 11 Aug. 2020 Purchasing a high-frequency device is a great way to kill bacteria, reduce inflammation of the skin, and calm down skin sensitivities. Medea Giordano, Wired, "How to Prevent and Treat Face Mascne," 23 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Yet Kenosha was mostly calm for Biden’s visit, other than some verbal jousting outside the church between activists, including Bennett, and at least one Trump supporter. Bill Barrow, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Joe Biden, in Kenosha, says U.S. is confronting the ‘original sin’," 4 Sep. 2020 Yet Kenosha was mostly calm for Biden’s visit, other than some verbal jousting outside the church between activists, including Bennett, and at least one Trump supporter. Anchorage Daily News, "In Kenosha, Biden says recent turmoil could drive U.S. to confront its history of systemic racism," 4 Sep. 2020 As the ducks recover, they are moved to a large, plastic swimming tubs, often with floating mats, with a tent-like canopy enclosure to keep them calm and safe from intrusion. Tom Stienstra,, "Inside Klamath Refuge’s ‘Duck Hospital’: Crews save 2,000 birds infected with avian botulism," 1 Sep. 2020 Winds will be calm in the morning and then out of the north at 5-8 mph by the afternoon. oregonlive, "Portland Wednesday weather: Sunny summer weather continues through Friday," 26 Aug. 2020 The seas were calm and the winds were light when the Andrey Dolgov, a cargo ship flying the Cambodian flag, motored in from the South Atlantic Ocean toward Walvis Bay, Namibia, one March day in 2016. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Hunt for the Modern-Day Pirates Who Steal Millions of Tons of Fish From the Seas," 21 Aug. 2020 At Ronald Reagan High School, all was calm in the early hours after the polls opened. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'This is a test run for November': No issues reported at polls as voters cast their ballots," 11 Aug. 2020 Over the weekend, my husband cleaned, painted, and organized the baby’s bedroom and tried to keep me calm. Naomi Jackson, Harper's Magazine, "A Litany for Survival," 18 Aug. 2020 Local families took their children to splash and swim in its calm waters. Sophie Cocke, ProPublica, "Obama and the Beach House Loopholes," 15 Aug. 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

7 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 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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Comments on calm

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