silent

adjective
si·​lent | \ˈsī-lənt \

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

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

Allan Fung, the current mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, has been endorsed by the NRA in the past and often remains silent on gun reform. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Gun Control Measures in the Midterms: How You Can Make a Difference With Your Vote," 30 Oct. 2018 For more than seven weeks, special counsel Robert Mueller has been silent. Matt Zapotosky, The Seattle Times, "With the midterms over, special counsel Mueller faces key decisions in Russia investigation," 7 Nov. 2018 Slack man is my favorite: May all your notifications be silent this weekend. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One way Twitter’s ad archive improves on Facebook’s," 3 Nov. 2018 Unlike a gas generator, the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 can be operated indoors and is silent. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Home Generator 101: How to Power on When the Power Goes Out," 10 Sep. 2018 The 18-year-old valedictorian said the crowd quickly went silent. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Crowd cheers when valedictorian quotes Trump. Then reveals it was Obama," 3 June 2018 The directive is silent on the issue of providing higher wages to those prospective employees. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Russian space leader issues decree against trash, “sloppy” work attitudes," 7 Nov. 2018 The competitive pressure to build and market self-driving technology may lead developers to stay silent on remaining development challenges. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber seeks permission to resume self-driving car testing on public roads," 2 Nov. 2018 At a moment when my feeds were otherwise full of people talking about and processing their feelings about Charlottesville, so many white fitness pros were choosing to stay silent on those topics. SELF, "Trainers and Fitness Pros Can't Help People of Color While Remaining Silent About Racism," 1 Nov. 2018

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

12 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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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