\ 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 Mayor Jacob Frey also called for calm, the Star-Tribune reports. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Police in Minneapolis shoot, kill man in gunfight during traffic stop, reports say," 31 Dec. 2020 In a plea for calm, Ivey said FDLE could present its findings to the State Attorney's Office for review within 90 days. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Dashcam video provides details of fatal law enforcement shooting of two Florida teens," 18 Nov. 2020 On June 1, in the wake of arson, looting and other violence that spread to cities nationwide, Terrence begged for calm. Aaron Morrison, USA TODAY, "'Don't forget to vote': George Floyd’s brother rallies for action this Election Day," 4 Nov. 2020 After months of protests, fresh graves and warnings about possible civil unrest, there was a yearning for calm even before the outcome was known. Los Angeles Times, "Boarded up storefronts and battered nerves: A day in the life as Americans vote in the 2020 election," 3 Nov. 2020 On June 1, in the wake of arson, looting and other violence that spread to cities nationwide, Terrence begged for calm. Aaron Morrison, Star Tribune, "George Floyd's brother rallies voters on Election Day," 3 Nov. 2020 At about the same time the unrest was breaking out, the Wallace family was calling for calm. CBS News, "Second night of clashes and looting in Philadelphia after police kill Black man Walter Wallace Jr.," 28 Oct. 2020 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari appealed for calm in a statement Wednesday. NBC News, "Soldiers open fire in Nigeria, drawing global attention to weekslong protests," 21 Oct. 2020 Wednesday issued a call for calm and vowed police reforms. Sam Olukoya And Lekan Oyekanmi, The Christian Science Monitor, "World rebukes open-fire response to protesters in Nigeria," 21 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Meditating while deep breathing has a soothing effect on the nervous system and helps calm the body and the mind. Work out. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "Should you skip or keep your workout if you're sick? Here's how to tell," 25 Dec. 2020 Muslim and Hindu hardliners who each wanted a state for themselves stoked the violence for political ends, despite attempts by leaders like Mohandas Gandhi to calm the tensions. Billy Perrigo, Time, "How a Refugee Revisited His Birth Village During the Pandemic – After 73 Years Away," 24 Dec. 2020 Click on all of the below and press play. Self-care, Hygge, and meditation were on our minds before 2020—but this year required mindfulness, rest, and calm on a whole new level. Ingrid Frahm, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is The BAZAAR 100," 23 Dec. 2020 The purebred lap dogs now passed off as service animals to calm the anxieties that might arise from eating eggs Benedict on a Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles Times, "My dream for theater: Toss the old business model in the dumpster fire of 2020," 21 Dec. 2020 Vice President Mike Pence took the vaccine live on television on Friday in an attempt to calm any fears that people might have about the process. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Three Alaska healthcare workers have adverse reactions to coronavirus vaccine, bringing total number to five," 19 Dec. 2020 Quinn stepped in to calm the dog, which became agitated when two women in the home Quinn was visiting began arguing about money, said Joliet Police Sgt. Alicia Fabbre,, "Dog fatally attacks man visiting friends in Joliet," 18 Dec. 2020 After three years of protest against the TPLF’s iron-fisted rule, the coalition had hoped Abiy’s parentage -- Oromo and Amhara, the two largest of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups -- would calm passions. Simon Marks,, "Ethiopia's Leader Won a Nobel Prize, but Can He Make Peace?," 18 Dec. 2020 Eliana's family was about to move, and Sapphire's words help calm Eliana's fears. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "A lonely 4-year-old girl in California started a 'magic' fairy garden. Then came the first note from Sapphire.," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective All that breathing and twisting and flexing fed her, and the calm voice of the instructor seemed to be speaking directly to her. Ann Patchett, Harper's Magazine, "These Precious Days," 5 Jan. 2021 Taking charge of the crisis, Governor Thornburgh was a calm voice against panic and made decisions that proved to be correct. New York Times, "Richard Thornburgh, Former Governor and Attorney General, Dies at 88," 31 Dec. 2020 Sami Mahdi, Radio Azadi’s bureau chief, said that Dayee was an impartial journalist whose reports were precise and backed by facts, and that audiences trusted his strong, calm voice. Washington Post, "Targeted killings of journalists are on the rise across Afghanistan," 27 Dec. 2020 In Hadac’s 1:32-second video, a woman identified by police as Petani is seen standing several feet from the group and speaking in a calm voice. Rosemary Sobol,, "Two charged in videotaped scuffle over ‘Biden 2020’ and other chalk writings in Chicago South Loop park," 17 Nov. 2020 Hayes, since December 2017, has provided viewers digests of postings and news about the Q phenomenon in a calm matter-of-fact voice that belies the dire and dark contours of the conspiracy that imagines a ruling global cabal of pedophiles. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona-based QAnon interpreter, militia mobilizer, other pages taken off of Facebook during crackdown," 9 Oct. 2020 Eleanor Daugherty, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, said the campus’ calm environment was an intentional result of UConn’s health and safety regulations. Amanda Blanco,, "At UConn, move-in day on campus means a COVID-19 test, a quarantine and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic," 14 Aug. 2020 Few people were going in and out of the stores and the traffic surrounding the circle was calm. Kristen Griffith,, "Less hustle and bustle, but ‘it’s definitely still Black Friday’ in Carroll County," 27 Nov. 2020 Winds will be calm during the day, but pick up overnight. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announces statewide curfew: The Wake Up for Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020," 18 Nov. 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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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