silence

noun
si·​lence | \ ˈsī-lən(t)s How to pronounce silence (audio) \

Definition of silence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : forbearance from speech or noise : muteness often used interjectionally
2 : absence of sound or noise : stillness in the silence of the night
3 : absence of mention:
b : secrecy weapons research was conducted in silence

silence

verb
silenced; silencing

Definition of silence (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to compel or reduce to silence : still silenced the crowd
2 : suppress silence dissent
3 : to cause to cease hostile firing or criticism silence the opposition
4 genetics : to block the genetic expression of RNA interference is a natural phenomenon. When a cell senses a double strand of RNA, it acts to silence any genes with the corresponding sequence of bases.— Andrew Pollack

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Synonyms for silence

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of silence in a Sentence

Noun I find it hard to sleep unless there is complete silence. The silence was broken by the sound of footsteps in the hallway. We sat there in dead silence. My sister's revelation was met with stunned silence. The professor asked for silence. There was an awkward silence after he confessed his love for her. A long silence followed her reply. We must break 50 years of silence on issues like the government's involvement in assassination and espionage. I will not be intimidated into silence. She finally ended her silence and spoke to the media about what happened. Verb My sister's revelation silenced everyone around the table. Disconnecting the battery will silence the alarm. The mayor tried to silence his critics. I will not be silenced! It's obvious that the purpose of this law is to silence dissent.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The club planned moment of silence before its pre-season match against German squad Leipzig. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2021 Twenty-two sporting events were held with a moment of silence was observed at every venue. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 July 2021 At Mulcahy Stadium, where the state tournament is being held, a moment of silence was held in Barnhart’s honor. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, 27 July 2021 Save for a few events in outlying prefectures, the Tokyo Games will proceed in empty stadiums and arenas, athletes performing to the sound of silence. David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2021 Moments of silence at sporting events are almost inescapable these days. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 24 July 2021 The hope: Using mindfulness to deal with the discomfort of seven days of silence will give the Americans the ability to deal with any discomfort during the Olympic competition, which begins July 24 and ends Aug. 7. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, 23 July 2021 And then there was a moment of silence to commemorate those who have died during the pandemic and during past Olympics, including 11 members of the Israeli delegation murdered in Munich in 1972. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 But persevering in the face of the pandemic quickly emerged as a theme in the first moments of the ceremony, which began at 8 p.m. local time and included a moment of silence for those who died. NBC News, 23 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Learning to silence those bouts of self-doubt paid off when Moore carved her way to gold with a score of 14.93 to beat Buitendag, who finished second with 8.46. Taylor Dutc, SELF, 27 July 2021 Isaac Johnson threw five shutout innings to silence Ketchikan’s bats, while South’s bats came alive late in the game. Anchorage Daily News, 23 July 2021 But otherwise, Ukraine and Poland are right to band together, anticipating geoeconomic abandonment by an administration that would prefer to swear them to silence. Jimmy Quinn, National Review, 20 July 2021 While the company tried to use her promotion to signal a break with the past, many saw her as a holdover from the previous era and accused her of being involved with its efforts to silence accusers. NBC News, 30 June 2021 Stripping away everything that’s controversial could silence important voices and ideas. Susan Wojcicki, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2021 Others don’t make it to the press at all – in some cases potentially due to the company’s efforts to tie some payouts to non-disclosure agreements, which can effectively silence people from going public with their stories. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, 30 July 2021 Károlyi, who retired as the national team coordinator after the 2016 Rio Games where Skinner was an alternate, was known for her controversial coaching methods and allegedly creating a culture of fear and silence along with her husband, Béla. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, 29 July 2021 Today, the 49-year-old King of Latin Pop is letting Vogue in on the secrets behind his morning skin-care routine, which kicks off not with any serum or sheet mask but rather silence. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, 28 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'silence.' 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 silence

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for silence

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin silentium, from silent-, silens

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Learn More About silence

Time Traveler for silence

Time Traveler

The first known use of silence was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near silence

silen

silence

silence cloth

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Statistics for silence

Last Updated

2 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Silence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/silence. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for silence

silence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of silence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a lack of sound or noise
: a situation, state, or period of time in which people do not talk
: a situation or state in which someone does not talk about or answer questions about something

silence

verb

English Language Learners Definition of silence (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause (someone or something) to stop speaking or making noise : to cause (someone or something) to become silent
: to stop (someone) from expressing opinions that are opposed to your own or from telling people about bad things that you have done
: to stop (something) from being expressed or revealed

silence

noun
si·​lence | \ ˈsī-ləns How to pronounce silence (audio) \

Kids Definition of silence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the state of keeping or being silent The teacher motioned for silence.
2 : the state of there being no sound or noise : stillness

silence

verb
silenced; silencing

Kids Definition of silence (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to stop the noise or speech of : cause to be silent
2 : suppress sense 1 The group tried to silence opposing views.

silence

transitive verb
si·​lence | \ ˈsī-lən(t)s How to pronounce silence (audio) \
silenced; silencing

Medical Definition of silence

: to block the genetic expression of : suppress the gene was silenced using the technique of RNA interference

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silence

noun
si·​lence

Legal Definition of silence

1 : the state of keeping or being silent especially : forbearance from speech or comment
2 : failure to make something known especially in violation of a duty to do so acceptance by silence — see also estoppel by silence at estoppel sense 1

More from Merriam-Webster on silence

Nglish: Translation of silence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of silence for Arabic Speakers

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