break the silence

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

break the silence (third-person singular simple present breaks the silence, present participle breaking the silence, simple past broke the silence, past participle broken the silence)

  1. To start talking in a conversation after a period where nobody speaks.
    Both men waited for the captain to make a decision. Finally, Dean broke the silence. "We need to know what to do, Captain! Before we sink!
    • 1990, Depeche Mode (lyrics and music), “Enjoy the Silence”, in Violator:
      Words, like violence, / Break the silence / Come crashing in, / Into my little world
  2. To state an opinion on a subject that has been taboo for a period of time.
    • 2012 June 19, Julian Baggini, “Why it's not the Dalai Lama's job to break the silence on Tibet”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The Free Tibet campaign is calling on world leaders to break the silence, claiming they "continue to refrain from publicly speaking out for Tibet".