What does silence mean?

Definitions for silence
ˈsaɪ lənssi·lence

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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.

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. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

  2. Amy Haskins:

    You still stand there silent. And your silence is supporting him in not standing up, you, yourself, served. You didn't pledge an oath to The President. You pledged it to our country, you pledged it to our Constitution. When are you guys going to start standing up and actually be there for us ?

  3. Deepak Chopra:

    Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote, Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being.

  4. Elijah Cummings:

    This is getting to be very painful, the silence was chilling. I do need to know a yes or no. Have we done things now that put us in a better position than where we were on the day of this event? And I don't want silence. It's not good enough.

  5. Fox News:

    They want to silence everyone, what happens when you sendout an email questioning, say, climate change and all of a sudden Gmail says, nah, we’re not deliver your email anymore. What, are you going to tell me that it is a conspiracy theory? I thought wiping Parler off the face of the Earth was a conspiracy too until I lived it.

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Translations for silence

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    a disposition that is confused or nervous and upset
    • A. knead
    • B. aberrate
    • C. fluster
    • D. abrade

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