|1.||characterized by an absence or near absence of noise or sound: a silent house|
|2.||tending to speak very little or not at all|
|3.||unable to speak|
|4.||failing to speak, communicate, etc, when expected: the witness chose to remain silent|
|5.||not spoken or expressed: silent assent|
|6.||not active or in operation: a silent volcano|
|7.||(of a letter) used in the conventional orthography of a word but no longer pronounced in that word: the ``k'' in ``know'' is silent|
|8.||denoting a film that has no accompanying soundtrack, esp one made before 1927, when such soundtracks were developed|
|9.||a silent film|
|[C16: from Latin silēns, from silēre to be quiet]|
"It is time for America's silent majority to stand up for its rights, and let us remember the American majority includes every minority. America's silent majority is bewildered by irrational protest." [Spiro T. Agnew, May 9, 1969]In Victorian use, the phrase meant "the dead" (1874).
silent si·lent (sī'lənt)
Producing no detectable signs or symptoms. Used of certain diseases or pathological processes.