What does Silence mean?

Definitions for Silence
ˈsaɪ lənssi·lence

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Silence.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. silencenoun

    the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking)

    "there was a shocked silence"; "he gestured for silence"

  2. silence, quietnoun

    the absence of sound

    "he needed silence in order to sleep"; "the street was quiet"

  3. muteness, silencenoun

    a refusal to speak when expected

    "his silence about my contribution was surprising"

  4. secrecy, secretiveness, silenceverb

    the trait of keeping things secret

  5. hush, quieten, silence, still, shut up, hush upverb

    cause to be quiet or not talk

    "Please silence the children in the church!"

  6. silenceverb

    keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure

    "All dissenters were silenced when the dictator assumed power"


  1. silencenoun

    The lack of any sound.

    When the motor stopped, the silence was almost deafening.

  2. silencenoun

    Form of meditative worship practiced by the Society of Friends (Quakers); meeting for worship.

    During silence a message came to me that there was that of God in every person.

  3. silencenoun

    The action of refraining from speaking.

    "You have the right to silence," said the police officer.

  4. silenceverb

    To make something silent.

    Can you silence the crowd, so we can start the show?

  5. silenceverb

    To suppress criticism etc.

  6. silenceverb

    To block gene expression.

  7. silenceinterjection

    be quiet

  8. Etymology: From silence.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Silenceinterj.

    An authoritative restraint of speech.

    Sir, have pity; I’ll be his surety. ——
    —— Silence: one word more
    Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. William Shakespeare.

  2. Silencenoun

    Etymology: silence, French; silentium, Latin.

    Unto me men gave ear, and waited and kept silence at my counsel. Job xxix. 21.

    I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Tim. ii. 12.

    First to himself he inward silence broke. John Milton.

    I think the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence,
    And discourse grow commendable in none but parrots. William Shakespeare.

    Here all their rage, and ev’n their murmurs cease,
    And sacred silence reigns, and universal peace. Alexander Pope.

    Thus fame shall be atchiev’d,
    And what most merits fame in silence hid. John Milton.

  3. To Silenceverb

    To still; to oblige to hold peace.

    Etymology: from the noun

    We must suggest the people, that to’s pow’r
    He wou’d have made them mules, silenc’ d their pleaders, and
    Dispropertied their freedoms. William Shakespeare.

    The ambassador is silenc’ d. William Shakespeare, Hen. VIII.

    Silence that dreadful bell; it frights the isle
    From her propriety. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    This passed as an oracle, and silenced those that moved the question. Francis Bacon, Hen. VII.

    Thus could not the mouths of worthy martyrs be silenced, who being exposed unto wolves, gave loud expressions of their faith, and were heard as high as heaven. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Err.

    This would silence all further opposition. Edward Hyde.

    Since in dark sorrow I my days did spend,
    I could not silence my complaints. John Denham.

    These dying lovers, and their floating sons,
    Suspend the fight and silence all our guns. Edmund Waller.

    Had they duly considered the extent of infinite knowledge and power, these would have silenced their scruples, and they had adored the amazing mystery. John Rogers, Sermons.

    If it please him altogether to silence me, so that I shall not only speak with difficulty, but wholly be disabled to open my mouth, to any articulate utterance; yet I hope he will give me grace, even in my thoughts, to praise him. William Wake.

    The thund’rer spoke, nor durst the queen reply;
    A reverend horror silenc’ d all the sky. Alexander Pope, Iliad.


  1. Silence

    Silence is the absence of ambient audible sound, the emission of sounds of such low intensity that they do not draw attention to themselves, or the state of having ceased to produce sounds; this latter sense can be extended to apply to the cessation or absence of any form of communication, whether through speech or other medium.Sometimes speakers fall silent when they hesitate in searching for a word, or interrupt themselves before correcting themselves. Discourse analysis shows that people use brief silences to mark the boundaries of prosodic units, in turn-taking, or as reactive tokens, for example, as a sign of displeasure, disagreement, embarrassment, desire to think, confusion, and the like. Relatively prolonged intervals of silence can be used in rituals; in some religious disciplines, people maintain silence for protracted periods, or even for the rest of their lives, as an ascetic means of spiritual transformation.


  1. silence

    Silence is the absence of sound or noise, a state of quietness or stillness. It refers to the lack of any audible vibrations or disturbances in the environment. Silence can also pertain to the absence of speech or communication, where individuals refrain from speaking.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Silencenoun

    the state of being silent; entire absence of sound or noise; absolute stillness

  2. Silencenoun

    forbearance from, or absence of, speech; taciturnity; muteness

  3. Silencenoun

    secrecy; as, these things were transacted in silence

  4. Silencenoun

    the cessation of rage, agitation, or tumilt; calmness; quiest; as, the elements were reduced to silence

  5. Silencenoun

    absence of mention; oblivion

  6. Silence

    be silent; -- used elliptically for let there be silence, or keep silence

  7. Silenceverb

    to compel to silence; to cause to be still; to still; to hush

  8. Silenceverb

    to put to rest; to quiet

  9. Silenceverb

    to restrain from the exercise of any function, privilege of instruction, or the like, especially from the act of preaching; as, to silence a minister of the gospel

  10. Silenceverb

    to cause to cease firing, as by a vigorous cannonade; as, to silence the batteries of an enemy

  11. Etymology: [F., fr. L. silentium. See Silent.]


  1. Silence

    Silence is the lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity. By analogy, the word silence can also refer to any absence of communication, including in media other than speech. Silence is also used as total communication, in reference to non verbal communication and spiritual connection. Silence also refers to no sounds uttered by anybody in a room or area. Silence is an important factor in many cultural spectacles, as in rituals. In discourse analysis, speakers use brief absences of speech to mark the boundaries of prosodic units. Silence in speech can be hesitation, stutters, self-correction—or deliberate slowing of speech to clarify or aid processing of ideas. These are short silences. Longer pauses in language occur in interactive roles, reactive tokens, or turn-taking. According to cultural norms, silence can be positive or negative. For example, in a Christian Methodist faith organization silence and reflection during the sermons might be appreciated by the congregation, while in a Southern Baptist church, silence might mean disagreement with what is being said, or perhaps disconnectedness from the congregated community.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Silence

    sī′lens, n. state of being silent: absence of sound or speech: muteness: cessation of agitation: calmness: oblivion.—v.t. to cause to be silent: to put to rest: to stop.—interj. be silent!—adj. Sī′lent, free from noise: not speaking: habitually taciturn: still: not pronounced: of distilled spirit, without flavour or odour.—n. Silen′tiary, one who keeps order in an assembly.—adv. Sī′lently.—n. Sī′lentness=Silence. [L. silēre, to be silent.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. silence

    A trick of the human gullet that conceals weakness or emptiness.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. silence

    To cause to cease firing by a vigorous cannonade; as, to silence the batteries of an enemy.

Suggested Resources

  1. silence

    Song lyrics by silence -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by silence on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Silence is ranked #57914 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Silence surname appeared 351 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Silence.

    96.3% or 338 total occurrences were White.
    1.4% or 5 total occurrences were Black.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Silence' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1783

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Silence' in Nouns Frequency: #812

Anagrams for Silence »

  1. license

  2. selenic

How to pronounce Silence?

How to say Silence in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Silence in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Silence in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of Silence in a Sentence

  1. Aloo Denish Obiero:

    The silence of the virtuous is the loudest endorsement of wickedness. -Aloo Denish Obiero

  2. Michael Avenatti:

    Here in America, unlike in Russia, we don't arrest citizens for political purposes in order to silence them.

  3. Tony Finau:

    My dad was my teacher and my hero, but he didn't say a word to me when I left, just from that silence, I understood what that meant. That was not how he raised me. That's not what champions do. That's not how Tony Finau act on a golf course.

  4. Debasish Mridha, M.D.:

    Happiness will come today, tomorrow and every year, now, then and every moment. For if we learn to love, care and share, happiness will come to fill our heart with kindness. It is a gift from the universe to touch our life with joyful silence. Happiness will come. For if we know wealth and splendors are illusions, but attainment of certain mental state and unconditional love is a real possession.

  5. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy:

    Congress has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence. This doesn't have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing – again.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Silence

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"Silence." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Silence>.

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    either of two different animal or plant species living in close association but not interdependent
    • A. commensal
    • B. inexpiable
    • C. splay
    • D. dicotyledonous

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