si·​len·​ti·​ary | \ sīˈlenchēˌerē \
plural -es

Definition of silentiary

1 : an advocate of silence especially as a religious observance
2 : one of various court officials of the later Roman Empire sworn not to divulge secrets of state
3 : one appointed to keep silence and order (as in a court of law or a public assembly)

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History and Etymology for silentiary

Latin silentiarius slave charged with maintaining silence among the domestic staff, from silentium silence + -arius -ary

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Cite this Entry

“Silentiary.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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