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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for silent treatment


brush-off, cold shoulder, rebuff, repulse, snub


open arms

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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

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 His teammates were too excited to give him the silent treatment. Bobby Nightengale,, "Reactions: Anthony DeSclafani hits 1st grand slam from Cincinnati Reds pitcher since 1959," 23 June 2018 Is there anyone else who’s given you the silent treatment after a dunk? Nina Mandell, For The Win, "Vince Carter's best financial advice for incoming NBA rookies," 21 June 2018 The mayor encouraged fans to turn their backs and give Alomar the silent treatment. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Giuliani on Yankees Fans: ‘They Boo You When They Love You’," 30 May 2018 Our civil discussion devolved into the silent treatment followed by a series of terse emails and then reconciliation. Elisabeth Egan, Glamour, "Our Table Came With a Story. For $500, We Got to Add Our Own Chapter," 3 May 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.

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First Known Use of silent treatment

1825, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for silent treatment

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for silent treatment

The first known use of silent treatment was in 1825

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Comments on silent treatment

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readily or continually undergoing change

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