silent

adjective
si·​lent | \ ˈsī-lənt How to pronounce silent (audio) \

Definition of silent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : making no utterance : mute, speechless
b : indisposed to speak : not loquacious
2 : free from sound or noise : still
3 : performed or borne without utterance : unspoken silent prayer silent grief
4a : making no mention history is silent about this person
b : not widely or generally known or appreciated the silent pressures on a person in public office
c : making no protest or outcry the silent majority
5 : unpronounced the silent b in doubt
6 : not exhibiting the usual signs or symptoms of presence a silent infection
7a : made without spoken dialogue silent movies
b : of or relating to silent movies

silent

noun

Definition of silent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a motion picture made without spoken dialogue usually used in plural

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Other Words from silent

Adjective

silently adverb
silentness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for silent

Synonyms: Adjective

dumb, mum, mute, muted, speechless, uncommunicative, wordless

Antonyms: Adjective

communicative, speaking, talking

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Choose the Right Synonym for silent

Adjective

silent, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive mean showing restraint in speaking. silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed. the strong, silent type taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability. taciturn villagers reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs. was reticent about his plans reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange. greetings were brief, formal, and reserved secretive, too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal. the secretive research and development division

Examples of silent in a Sentence

Adjective

She was silent for a few minutes as she thought about how to answer him. The crowd fell silent as the horrible news was read aloud. My father was a very silent man. He was the strong, silent type. He said he would call me, but the phone was silent all day. A long, silent pause followed her reply.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Some of Cop Car’s most gripping scenes are essentially silent, letting nervous faces tell the tale. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Cop Car shows where Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts learned action and storytelling," 5 July 2019 The governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were conspicuously silent as Mexico twisted in the wind last month under the threat of crippling tariffs from U.S. President Donald Trump. Washington Post, "Central American officials avoid focus on immigration," 3 July 2019 There are too many conflicts of interest to stop migration.’’ The governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were conspicuously silent as Mexico twisted in the wind last month under the threat of crippling tariffs from President Trump. Christopher Sherman, BostonGlobe.com, "Central American officials silent on immigration," 3 July 2019 Donald Norcross had been largely silent as the tax break controversy escalated, and a lawyer for the Norcross brothers tried to downplay his role in pushing the tax break legislation. Susan Schmidt, ProPublica, "Meet the Congressman Defending Questionable Tax Breaks for a Company Connected to His Rich Brother," 2 July 2019 But unlike traditional cars, electric vehicles are practically silent. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "BMW electric car sounds are being made by film composer Hans Zimmer," 29 June 2019 On this, and just about anything contentious, Citéco is frustratingly silent. The Economist, "Displays dedicated to explaining economics offer marginal returns," 28 June 2019 Thomas Jefferson speaks to us, but Sally Hemings is as silent as the grave. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Chicago’s place in the reparations debate," 26 June 2019 The best victims of all are so silent that the men who hurt them can move on to ever-more-lucrative positions of political prominence, entirely unbothered by the frantic sirens of conscience. Laurie Penny, The New Republic, "Why It Matters How Powerful Men Treat Women," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Schoenberg, with the aid of two UCLA students, tries out his idea by imagining the events of his life as depicted in different film genres—silents, noir mysteries, Disney cartoons, musicals and westerns. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Schoenberg in Hollywood’ Review: Grandiose Fantasy," 20 Nov. 2018 And in the midst of Weinstein’s wave of accusers coming forward last year, the mogul was radio silent until actress Lupita Nyong’o shared her own account of his alleged misconduct towards her. Allison Mcgevna, Glamour, "A Year Later, Is the #MeToo Movement Stuck in Hollywood?," 5 Oct. 2018 There were silent and live auctions, with items including jewelry, signed memorabilia from players like Bryce Harper, Jose Altuve, and Ken Griffey Jr., a trip to MLB All-Star week, as well as the ability to donate directly to Team Gleason. David Herder, SI.com, ""This Is Baseball's Disease": ESPN's Jon Sciambi Rallies Names Around Baseball to ALS Gala," 6 June 2018 Barca are remaining silent on the subject of Griezmann's future but it is expected that the Frenchman will complete a move to the Nou Camp this summer, leaving his current employers in desperate need of goals. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid Line Up Move for West Brom Striker as Unlikely Antoine Griezmann Replacement," 26 May 2018 Against the noisiness of a (criminal) minority, Nixon posited the silent, victimized majority, a note his Administration sounded over and over. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "The Rise of the Victims’-Rights Movement," 14 May 2018 There were silent and live auctions, a wine tasting, dinner, an award presentation and dancing. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Angel Gala raises $125,000 for St. Michael School in Independence, Brecksville," 29 Apr. 2018 As the silents move on to their reward, and as the boomers (the cohort of people born between 1946 and 1964) age, the boomers make up a greater portion of the 65-plus age bracket tracked by researchers who study alcohol consumption. Joel Achenbach, chicagotribune.com, "Study shows baby boomers are drinking alcohol at an alarming rate," 20 Apr. 2018 Both Dunphy and McKie have been unavailable for comment and likely will continue remaining silent until a deal is finalized. Marc Narducci, Philly.com, "Negotiations ongoing over Fran Dunphy's exit from Temple, source says," 31 Mar. 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for silent

Adjective

Middle English sylent, from Latin silent-, silens, from present participle of silēre to be silent; akin to Goth anasilan to cease, grow calm

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Statistics for silent

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for silent

The first known use of silent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for silent

silent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of silent

: not speaking or making noise
: tending not to talk much
: not having or making any sound or noise

silent

adjective
si·​lent | \ ˈsī-lənt How to pronounce silent (audio) \

Kids Definition of silent

1 : not speaking He stood silent for a moment, and then answered.
2 : not talkative a silent person
3 : free from noise or sound : still Except for a ticking clock the house was silent.
4 : done or felt without being spoken silent reading silent prayer
5 : making no mention They were silent about their plan.
6 : not in operation silent factories
7 : not pronounced The letter e in “came” is silent.
8 : made without spoken dialogue silent movies

Other Words from silent

silently adverb

silent

adjective
si·​lent | \ ˈsī-lənt How to pronounce silent (audio) \

Medical Definition of silent

1 : not exhibiting the usual signs or symptoms of presence a silent infection silent gallstones silent tuberculosis silent ischemia
2 : yielding no detectable response to stimulation used especially of an association area of the brain silent cortex
3 : having no detectable function or effect silent DNA silent genes

Other Words from silent

silently adverb

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silent

adjective
si·​lent

Legal Definition of silent

1 : making no utterance : resolved not to speak especially about a certain topic the right to remain silent
2 : making no mention or account : omitting explanation and leaving questions unanswered a criminal statute silent as to the requirement of intent
3 : taking no active part in the conduct of a business a silent member of a firm — see also silent partner at partner

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More from Merriam-Webster on silent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for silent

Spanish Central: Translation of silent

Nglish: Translation of silent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of silent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on silent

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