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

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

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 If anyone thought Britain was due a period of calm after Boris Johnson’s tumultuous premiership, no one told his successor. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 28 Sep. 2022 It’s the responsibility of communities to make more safe spaces for people to navigate their emotions and find states of calm. Alex Wagner, SPIN, 28 Sep. 2022 The teams combined wooden floors and ceiling panels and stone walls to create a sense of calm across the airy living spaces. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 22 Sep. 2022 Yet this sense of calm quickly descended into online commotion when Meghan carried her own flowers. Raven Smith, Vogue, 21 Sep. 2022 Though Tiafoe battled for more than four hours, Alcaraz displayed a level of calm beyond his years to finish the job with nearly 24,000 fans pulling against him. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 10 Sep. 2022 Chrissy Teigen is embracing a moment of calm amid her pregnancy. Georgia Slater, Peoplemag, 6 Sep. 2022 For all the unease over ethical questions, the film opens with a pastoral sense of calm: Side by side on a rock beneath trees in brilliant full leaf, Herzog and neurobiologist Rafael Yuste, the film’s chief scientific adviser, gaze at a laptop. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Sep. 2022 Armed supporters of a powerful Iraqi cleric who clashed with security forces in the capital began to withdraw from the streets Tuesday, restoring a measure of calm after a serious escalation of the nation's political crisis. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The strips are infused with chamomile extract to help calm on contact. Allure Editors, Allure, 13 Sep. 2022 Thanks to a cotton exterior and interior, this cooling comforter doesn’t trap heat and will help calm you and soothe you to sleep. Hannah Baker, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Sep. 2022 Here are some tips to help calm your mind and improve your sleep quality. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 15 Aug. 2022 Lewis even handed him a sip of water to help calm a persistent cough Jones said was caused by a torn larynx. Jim Vertuno And Michael Tarm, Hartford Courant, 5 Aug. 2022 Finkle guides breathing to help calm the nervous system, ending with a slow return to normal breath and future visualizations. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 The second horse became agitated, Grandy said, until the owners were able to calm it down. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2022 At some point Jackson and his girlfriend got into an argument, and the victim then took Jackson outside to calm him down, investigators said. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 31 Aug. 2022 Model self-compassion by speaking out loud, or use it silently to calm yourself. Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Winds are nearly calm, and lows are mainly in the mid- to upper 50s. David Streit, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2022 Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle told The Associated Press that the water was dead calm at the time of the accident and the assumption was that a whale had surfaced from beneath the boat. Nick Perry, USA TODAY, 12 Sep. 2022 Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle told The Associated Press that the water was dead calm at the time of the accident and the assumption was that a whale had surfaced from beneath the boat. Nick Perry, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2022 In a sign of the fear that the unrest would spread, Iran closed its borders to Iraq earlier Tuesday, though even before Mr. Sadr’s order, streets beyond the capital’s government quarter largely remained calm. The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Aug. 2022 In a sign of the fear that the unrest would spread, Iran closed its borders to Iraq earlier Tuesday, though even before al-Sadr’s order, streets beyond the capital’s government quarter largely remained calm. Samya Kullab, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Aug. 2022 The violence threatened to deepen the political crisis, though streets elsewhere in the country largely remained calm and the country's vital oil continued to flow. Fox News, 30 Aug. 2022 There is a 30% chance of rain and winds will be calm. Matt Jones, Arkansas Online, 2 Sep. 2022 Winds that had pushed the fire Wednesday were more calm overnight and on Thursday morning. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best sound machines.

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

Dictionary Entries Near calm

call-waiting

calm

calmative

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for calm

Last Updated

2 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Calm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calm. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for calm

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

Choose the Right Synonym for calm

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on calm

Nglish: Translation of calm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about calm

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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