quiet

1 of 4

noun

qui·​et ˈkwī-ət How to pronounce quiet (audio)
: the quality or state of being quiet (see quiet entry 2) : tranquility

quiet

2 of 4

adjective

1
a
: free from noise or uproar : still
a quiet room
The lights went down and the theater became quiet.
b
: making or involving no noise or very little noise
a quiet motor
a quiet conversation
Everyone suddenly went quiet.
Please be quiet—people are trying to study.
c
: tending to speak very little : not loquacious
He was a quiet, reserved person.
d
: unobtrusive, conservative
quiet clothes/colors
2
a
: marked by little or no motion or activity : calm
a quiet sea
At such an early hour, the streets seemed strangely quiet.
b
: gentle, easygoing
a quiet temperament
c
: not disturbed by noise or activity
quiet reading
a moment of quiet contemplation
: enjoyed in peace and relaxation
a quiet cup of tea
3
: secluded
a quiet nook
4
: carried out secretly or discreetly
quiet diplomacy
: not made known openly or publicly
worked with quiet determination
She had a quiet confidence about her.
He took a quiet satisfaction in a job well done.
quietly adverb
quietness noun

quiet

3 of 4

adverb

: in a quiet manner
an engine that runs quiet

quiet

4 of 4

verb

quieted; quieting; quiets

transitive verb

1
: to cause to be quiet : calm
2
: to make secure by freeing from dispute or question
quiet title to a property

intransitive verb

: to become quiet
usually used with down
Phrases
on the quiet
: in a secretive manner : in secret

Examples of quiet in a Sentence

Noun My hostess told me she had some records I might like to hear and she called for quiet in the room. People sat down on the floor in groups, sharing bottles of wine and slivovitz. The host put the record on a windup record player and Lester Young's saxophone yowled out of the silence. Maya Angelou, Gourmet, November 2002
When my parents needed peace and quiet, they didn't put me in front of the television to watch a "Baby Einstein" video; they plopped me in a chair to watch my mom do housework or cook. Robb Moretti, Newsweek, 5 Aug. 2002
the quiet of a wooded trail Can I have some quiet here? I'm trying to study. I need a little peace and quiet. Adjective Breakfast at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, a members-only institution founded in the city now called Mumbai in 1846 by British colonial officers, is a meal of quiet elegance. The second-story veranda looks out over a small garden and, beyond that, the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel. Outside is the tumult of horse-drawn carriages, touts, and taxis. Inside is peaceful stillness, broken only by the sounds of crunched-on toast and rustling newspapers. Lyla Bavadam, Saveur, October 2008
One change I notice is that I get sleepy earlier than I used to, sometimes by 8:30 or 9 if I am having a quiet evening at home. Andrew Weil, Time, 17 Oct. 2005
I interviewed Virginia, who is totally blind, in a small local library. Walking with her guide dog, this young-looking woman arrived soon after I came in. We found a quiet corner to sit and talk while her dog settled beside her chair. At forty-three, Virginia was used to telling her story and found time for our interview in her busy travel schedule. She had just returned from San Francisco where she had spoken at the California Academy of Sciences and was about to leave for Montreal, Canada, to conduct workshops in diversity awareness. Mary Grimley Mason, Working Against Odds, 2004
Attributing their behaviors to their personal dispositions, we decide Julie is shy and Jack is outgoing. Because people do have enduring personality traits, such attributions are sometimes valid. However, we often overestimate the influence of personality and underestimate the influence of situations. In class, Jack may be as quiet as Julie. Catch Julie at a party and you may hardly recognize your quiet classmate. David G. Myers, Psychology, 2001
the quiet hum of the refrigerator He spoke in a very quiet voice. Surprisingly, the class was quiet. He's a very quiet person. She has a quiet disposition. During the morning, business was quiet. Some days at the store are quieter than others. a quiet stretch of road He led a quiet life. Adverb lie quiet and no one will guess you're hiding under the bed Verb Clemens had few questions to answer about Piazza. The beanball and broken bat from 2000, and the Mets' tepid retaliation last season, were memories. And since Clemens recorded his 300th victory on June 13, the buzz around him has quieted. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 29 June 2003
When she walked down the hall past his classroom, the sounds of chaos came over the frosted-glass pane above the door. She had taken to making random visits; the sight of her in the doorway quieted the kids. Mary Gordon, Atlantic, May 1999
Even with that, Presser was so scared that he fled to Florida and moved from hotel to hotel till the gang war quieted down, with his side on top. A. H. Raskin, New York Times Book Review, 10 Dec. 1989
the museum docent told the rowdy youngsters to quiet down for the tour quiet a crying toddler with candy
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Compared to the quiet of working from their kitchen tables or from bed, many employees have found their offices noisy and distracting. Rachyl Jones, Fortune, 7 Mar. 2024 In the quiet of their ranch house in southern Pennsylvania, just across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg, there would be no nurses deciding what medicines to give, or remembering how many times Shelby is supposed to be fed through her tube each day. Brittany Trang, STAT, 13 Dec. 2023 In the quiet of that moment, a sense of acceptance washed over him. Ben Lerner, Harper's Magazine, 3 Nov. 2023 The 724-person village, hugging the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, is probably best known as the headquarters of MacKenzie-Childs, the homewares retailer that still paints its distinctive serveware by hand in the blissful quiet of this stretch of Cayuga County. Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure, 22 Aug. 2023 In the quiet of their bedrooms, girls sized themselves up in the mirror and fretted. Valorie Lee Schaefer, ELLE, 22 Aug. 2023 From the roar of a crowd to the quiet of a library, sound and silence might seem like polar opposites. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 July 2023 Photo: Viva Pedestrian activity picks up as soon as the barricades for the 34th Avenue open street in Jackson Heights are put in place at 7 a.m., the first wave of commuters emerging from the early-morning quiet. Curbed, 13 Apr. 2023 Russian bombs and missiles shattered the early-morning quiet in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and other cities on Feb. 24. Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2022
Adjective
When there isn’t one, the whole marketing platform gets quiet. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 8 Apr. 2024 Macaws, budgies and other birds got quiet and roosted up high, which is nighttime behavior. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 8 Apr. 2024 During solar eclipses, when the sky briefly turns dark, dogs may cower, birds stop flying and grow quiet, and nocturnal creatures emerge. Mallory Moench, TIME, 7 Apr. 2024 Geologically speaking, the East Coast is a quiet old man, while the West Coast is a rambunctious teenager. Matt Simon, WIRED, 5 Apr. 2024 Ants appeared to slow down or stop moving, and even domestic chickens responded—hens gathered together and got quiet, while roosters crowed. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 As in many other American places, the residential streets are eerily quiet, even on the nicest afternoons, and much of family life revolves around organized sports. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2024 Stephen Curry was relatively quiet for his All-NBA standards, finishing with 17 points on 3-of-10 shooting from three-point range for Golden State. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 27 Mar. 2024 Then there are moments of quiet, where Gene and Ollie are just eating lunch in the front of the ambulance, shooting the breeze with dark humor. Kaely Monahan, The Arizona Republic, 27 Mar. 2024
Adverb
Cue the quiet-quitting backlash: The concept has sparked a flood of vehement commentary from business leaders, career coaches and other professionals lamenting what the shift away from hustle culture means for Americans’ commitment to their jobs, while some young professionals are praising it. Kathryn Dill and Angela Yang, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2022 Some workers just quiet-quit, doing the minimum to hold on to their jobs. Christopher Dinsmore, Baltimore Sun, 8 Dec. 2022 On another end were the quiet-seeking bedrooms and bathrooms, one with a step-down Roman shower. oregonlive, 7 Nov. 2022 The quiet-quitting phenomenon where employees simply perform their duties without going the extra mile to forgo hustle culture has been rippling through the workplace. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 2 Nov. 2022 The emergence of the quiet-quitting phenomenon isn't a fluke, experts say. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 24 Aug. 2022 Some of the same companies staying quiet now have spoken up on human-rights issues in other parts of the world. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 23 Jan. 2022 This quiet-running progressive resistance bike trainer that offers a road-like feel is once again our top choice for the best model. Allen Foster, chicagotribune.com, 25 Sep. 2020 The Stadio San Paolo, Napoli's famed crumbling colosseum, erupted as Mertens headed home from Adrian's save, only to fall quiet after seeing the linesman's flag raised for an obvious offside. Matias Grez, CNN, 17 Sep. 2019
Verb
The No Doubt frontwoman, in a Nylon interview published Tuesday, quieted all speculation of a forthcoming split. Taijuan Moorman, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2024 But the angry calls for a remote-work rebellion are showing signs of quieting, a Morning Consult report from this month found. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 9 Apr. 2024 All the while, though, Piñeiro stayed consistent in his routine, focused — even using his arms to quiet the crowd despite being in an uproar after the second penalty. Alex Zietlow, Charlotte Observer, 9 Apr. 2024 Because of the darkened sky and temperature drop during the partial solar eclipse, birds’ chirping might quiet and give way to crickets. Nollyanne Delacruz, The Mercury News, 8 Apr. 2024 Over time, regularly counteracting stresses and quieting your racing mind can train your body to power down pain pathways. Hilary Tetenbaum, Detroit Free Press, 8 Apr. 2024 The conversations happening around the lawn also quieted as the moon covered the sun and the eclipse reached its peak in town, capturing everyone’s attention. Joseph Hernandez, Kansas City Star, 8 Apr. 2024 Some lawyers accuse prosecutors of slow-walking cases against veterans in hopes that the local outcry will quiet. Milana Mazaeva, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2024 His response likely did little to quiet the discourse that popped up as soon as the film was announced and has dragged on for months on social media, podcasts, YouTube videos and blogs. Rick Rojas, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quiet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English quiet, quiete, borrowed from Anglo-French quiete, borrowed from Latin quiēt-, quiēs "repose, sleep, rest, peaceful conditions," going back to Indo-European *kwi̯eh1-ti-, noun derivative of a verbal base *kwi̯eh1- "have a rest," whence Avestan š́iiā- "be glad," Old Church Slavic počijǫ, počiti "to have a rest" (causative pokojǫ, pokoiti "to calm, quiet"), Armenian hangeaw "has rested," and (from deverbal *kwi̯eh1-to-) Avestan š́iiāta- "peaceful, happy," Old Persian šiyāta-, Latin quiētus "at rest, quiet entry 2"

Adjective

Middle English quyet, quyete, quiete, borrowed from Anglo-French & Middle French quiete, borrowed from Latin quiētus "at rest, inactive, peaceful" — more at quiet entry 1

Adverb

derivative of quiet entry 2

Verb

Middle English quieten, borrowed from Late Latin quiētāre "to become quiet, make quiet, put to rest," derivative of Latin quiētus "at rest, quiet entry 2"

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

Adverb

1573, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quiet was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near quiet

Cite this Entry

“Quiet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quiet. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

quiet

1 of 3 noun
qui·​et ˈkwī-ət How to pronounce quiet (audio)
: the quality or state of being quiet

quiet

2 of 3 adjective
1
a
: marked by little or no motion, activity, or noise : calm
b
: gentle entry 1 sense 2b, easygoing
a quiet disposition
c
: not disturbed : peaceful
enjoyed a quiet dinner for two
2
: not colorful or showy : conservative
quiet clothes
3
: hidden from public view
a quiet corner
quiet adverb
quietly adverb
quietness noun

quiet

3 of 3 verb
: to make or become quiet
quieter noun

Legal Definition

quiet

1 of 2 adjective
qui·​et
: free from disturbance, interference, or dispute (as from an adverse claim)
quiet enjoyment of property

quiet

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to establish or make (title) secure by means of an action that produces a final determination of the respective rights of parties who are in dispute over property compare cloud on title

More from Merriam-Webster on quiet

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