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silence

[sahy-luh ns] /ˈsaɪ ləns/
noun
1.
absence of any sound or noise; stillness.
2.
the state or fact of being silent; muteness.
3.
absence or omission of mention, comment, or expressed concern:
the conspicuous silence of our newspapers on local graft.
4.
the state of being forgotten; oblivion:
in the news again after years of silence.
5.
concealment; secrecy.
verb (used with object), silenced, silencing.
6.
to put or bring to silence; still.
7.
to put (doubts, fears, etc.) to rest; quiet.
8.
Military. to still (enemy guns), as by more effective fire.
interjection
9.
be silent! “Silence!” the teacher shouted.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English (noun) < Old French < Latin silentium. See silent, -ence
Related forms
oversilence, noun
unsilenced, adjective
Synonyms
6. hush, quell, muzzle, gag.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for silence
  • The silence of the barn is the silence of the country and that peaceful quiet crescendoed long into the night.
  • The sound of wind and rain lashing the trees outside infiltrated the silence.
  • It's a mistake to focus on noise reduction instead of silence expansion.
  • Other than the chirping of autumn crickets, the silence is absolute.
  • Through his silence and walking, he learned to truly listen, both to other people and the world around him.
  • Spicy compound clears the way for an anesthetic to silence pain sensation.
  • Looking back, the really strange thing was the silence.
  • The silence may take place without the listener being aware of it.
  • Breaking this code of silence might best begin with a strong new police superintendent.
  • Every inch of the image says winter, peace, silence.
British Dictionary definitions for silence

silence

/ˈsaɪləns/
noun
1.
the state or quality of being silent
2.
the absence of sound or noise; stillness
3.
refusal or failure to speak, communicate, etc, when expected: his silence on the subject of their promotion was alarming
4.
a period of time without noise
5.
oblivion or obscurity
verb (transitive)
6.
to bring to silence
7.
to put a stop to; extinguish: to silence all complaint
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin silēntium, from silēre to be quiet. See silent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for silence
n.

c.1200, "muteness, state of being silent," from Old French silence "state of being silent; absence of sound," from Latin silentium "a being silent," from silens, present participle of silere "be quiet or still," of unknown origin. Meaning "absence of sound" in English is from late 14c.

v.

1560s, intransitive, "become still or silent;" 1590s, transitive, "make silent," from silence (n.). Related: Silenced; silencing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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