Definition of silent
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
Examples of silent in a sentence
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.
Origin and Etymology of silent
Middle English sylent, from Latin silent-, silens, from present participle of silēre to be silent; akin to Goth anasilan to cease, grow calm
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of silent
Definition of silent
: a motion picture made without spoken dialogue —usually used in plural
First Known Use of silent
SILENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of silent for English Language Learners
: not speaking or making noise
: tending not to talk much
: not having or making any sound or noise
SILENT Defined for Kids
Definition of silent for Students
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>
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>
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>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up silent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).