absence of any sound or noise; stillness.
the state or fact of being silent; muteness.
absence or omission of mention, comment, or expressed concern: the conspicuous silence of our newspapers on local graft.
the state of being forgotten; oblivion: in the news again after years of silence.
concealment; secrecy.
verb (used with object), silenced, silencing.
to put or bring to silence; still.
to put (doubts, fears, etc.) to rest; quiet.
Military. to still (enemy guns), as by more effective fire.
be silent! “Silence!” the teacher shouted.

1175–1225; Middle English (noun) < Old French < Latin silentium. See silent, -ence

oversilence, noun
unsilenced, adjective

6. hush, quell, muzzle, gag. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
silence (ˈsaɪləns)
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
6.  to bring to silence
7.  to put a stop to; extinguish: to silence all complaint
[C13: via Old French from Latin silēntium, from silēre to be quiet. See silent]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. silence "absence of sound," from L. silentium "a being silent," from silens, prp. of silere "be quiet or still," of unknown origin. Replaced O.E. swige. The verb (trans.) is attested from 1590s, from the noun. Silencer "mechanism that stifles the sound of a motor or firearm" first
recorded 1898.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The silence of the barn is the silence of the country and that peaceful quiet
  crescendoed long into the night.
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.
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