silent treatment


Definition of silent treatment

: an act of completely ignoring a person or thing by resort to silence especially as a means of expressing contempt or disapproval

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for silent treatment



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of silent treatment in a Sentence

ever since our run-in at the party she's been giving me the silent treatment
Recent Examples on the Web But really, is giving your top customers the silent treatment any way to reward their loyalty? Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Will the coronavirus pandemic cost the travel industry its most loyal customers?," 28 Mar. 2020 Garnett and Rondo are seemingly still giving Allen the silent treatment, even though players in the NBA switch teams quite literally all the time. Rohan Nadkarni,, "The Most Notable NBA Feuds This Past Decade," 17 Sep. 2019 Gespass’ request isn’t the only one the city has given the silent treatment. al, "What’s Randall Woodfin hiding?," 6 Sep. 2019 The silent treatment President Donald Trump had been getting from the Democratic candidates in the debates ended this week. Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY, "Trump mentioned 161 times during the Democratic debates in Detroit," 1 Aug. 2019 Djimon Hounsou is ready for the silent treatment: The Captain Marvel and Shazam star is replacing Brian Tyree Henry in the sequel to A Quiet Place, EW has confirmed. Devan Coggan,, "Djimon Hounsou replacing Brian Tyree Henry in A Quiet Place 2," 12 Aug. 2019 China’s next move may be to give the silent treatment a try. Alan Rappeport,, "Consumers would feel bite from latest tariff plan," 4 Aug. 2019 Unlike some big companies, Amazon has preferred to give Mr. Trump the silent treatment. Jay Greene, WSJ, "Bernie Sanders Strikes at Amazon With New Tax Bill," 5 Sep. 2018 Unhappily Married: Your husband’s silent treatment qualifies as emotional abuse. Houston Chronicle, "Woman is put in the middle of an affair among friends," 23 June 2018

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

1825, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about silent treatment

Time Traveler for silent treatment

Time Traveler

The first known use of silent treatment was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Statistics for silent treatment

Cite this Entry

“Silent treatment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on silent treatment

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for silent treatment

Comments on silent treatment

What made you want to look up silent treatment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!