calm

noun
\ ˈkäm , ˈkälm , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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.

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

Lawrence, who overtook senior Kelly Bryant for Clemson’s starting job in the fifth game this season, is a 6-foot-6 drop-back passer calm beyond his years. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Clemson Routs Alabama to Win College Football’s National Championship," 8 Jan. 2019 The Japanese have a reputation as more zen, calm, and focused, which some attribute to their everyday consumption of tea. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Chef Candice Kumai’s Matcha and Green Tea Guide to Japan," 12 Dec. 2018 Hathaway’s calm, newfound and welcome, comes from being able to finally have a public voice. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 Smaller cities like Puebla, Mexico; Nashville; Bruges, Belgium; and Minneapolis—because of their relative calm, creative class, and affordability—are on our readers' radar like never before. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Travelogue Podcast: Inside the 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 19 Oct. 2018 Perhaps the homeowners intentionally made their nighttime escape calm and tranquil since the rest of their home is so busy. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "A Stately Tudor Home — For Wallpaper Lovers Only," 19 Oct. 2015 Efforts by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to instill calm into a jittery market appeared to have little impact. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bond Prices Rise as Stocks Fall," 24 Dec. 2018 Our breath is critical to staying centered and relaxed, allowing for the calm focus required to experience orgasm and pleasure. Gigi Engle, SELF, "How to Get Really Comfortable in Your Body for Sex," 8 Dec. 2018 There was a calm inner peace, halfway around the world in a war zone, a calm inner peace, god's therapy. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of George P. Bush's Eulogy for His Grandfather, George H.W. Bush," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Try a feather-light grey in bedrooms, or even a meditation space for a tranquil, calming effect. Alexis Jonnson, Good Housekeeping, "The Prettiest Colors Popping Up in Homes This Year," 19 July 2018 Deep Pressure Therapy is now widely used to help calm people with autism, and many different studies suggest the therapy shows real results. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Do Thundershirts Really Calm Dogs During Fireworks or What?," 3 July 2018 Be careful with claims that essential oils can help calm dogs down. Southern Living, "How to Keep Dogs Calm During Fireworks," 3 July 2018 McAfee, the fourth-grade teacher, manages her stress by pacing the classroom during lessons; many of Ohio Avenue’s teachers snack on Hot Tamales candy, claiming that the cinnamon helps them calm down. Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Atlantic, "One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior," 8 May 2018 Go Green Neuroscience tells us: Exposure to plants [2] makes us less emotionally volatile and error prone; even pictures of plants have a calming effect. John Medina And, WSJ, "How Neuroscience Is Optimizing the Office," 1 May 2018 Though many may agree that Celebrity Big Brother isn’t a satisfying substitute for the NCIS clan, everyone can calm down: The show will return with its season 16 episodes on February 5, which is just a mere two weeks away. Megan Stein, Country Living, "CBS Sparks Outrage Among 'NCIS' Fans After Temporarily Replacing the Show," 23 Jan. 2019 Read on for the dos and don'ts of calming the inflammation and healing the irritated skin on the double. Leah Prinzivalli, Glamour, "How to Get Rid of a Pimple Fast: 12 Dos & Don'ts of Fighting Acne," 17 Jan. 2019 After several hours and a visit to a nearby pharmacy for an OCD medicine that didn’t help, Stimpert and her husband were able to calm their son enough to get him in bed. Erin Quinn-kong, Good Housekeeping, "Their Son Tested Positive for Strep Throat. Then Came the Severe OCD, Anxiety, and Hallucinations.," 2 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Cheap money is great, except too much cheap money can lead to inflation, so to head that off at the pass, central banks sometimes raise interest rates to slow spending and keep things calm. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump keeps complaining about the Fed while appointing people who don’t agree with his complaints," 12 Dec. 2018 Things aren’t going to get calmer, more stable, more placid and predictable in the coming year. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Trump Insiders, Come Out of the Shadows," 27 Dec. 2018 America’s political past was not more procedural and restrained than its present, and religion does not, in general, calm political divides. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The political tribalism of Andrew Sullivan," 11 Dec. 2018 Ashley Graham is as calm, cool, and collected as supermodels come. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "From Makeup Tricks to Simple Self-Care Tips, Ashley Graham's Stress-Free Guide to Holiday Vacation Packing," 8 Dec. 2018 Consistency is key, as traditional design seeks to create a calm, orderly space, so furnishings will match, symmetry is huge, and everything seems to just go together. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Design," 12 Oct. 2018 There’s a calmer, cheaper way to split from your spouse in your sunset years. Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "Senior splitting from your spouse? 'Collaborative divorce' is a friendlier, cheaper way," 5 July 2018 In the 5-minute navy video, the boys were seen wearing their soccer uniforms and were calm, curious, and polite. Tassanee Vejpongsa, BostonGlobe.com, "Forecast of heavy rain could complicate Thai cave rescue," 3 July 2018 In the five-minute navy video, the boys are seen wearing their soccer uniforms and are calm, curious and polite. Tassanee Vejpongsa, chicagotribune.com, "Thai official: Boys may have to dive from cave despite peril," 3 July 2018

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calm

Statistics for calm

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for calm

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for calm

calm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of calm

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a quiet and peaceful state or condition
: a peaceful mental or emotional state

calm

verb

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.

calm

adjective

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.

calm

noun
\ ˈkäm , 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
calmness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on calm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with calm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calm

Spanish Central: Translation of calm

Nglish: Translation of calm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

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!