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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 of silence
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for silencing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And in power they valued most dearly the atrocious right of silencing, by foul means or fair, all opinions that were not official.

  • They did not talk much; there was a silencing awe in the spectacle.

    The Greater Inclination Edith Wharton
  • Looking out, she spied him below, a silencing finger against his lips, while he waved a beckoning arm toward the road.

    Seven Miles to Arden Ruth Sawyer
  • I knew that the one motive for silencing me was the work I'd been doing for Mr. Boyne.

  • He was at the moment a graceful and silencing rebuke to those who aver that manner and attire be interdependent.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for silencing

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 silencing

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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