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From Middle English silence, from Old French silence, from Latin silentium (“silence”), from silēns (“quiet, silent”, present participle of silēre) + -ium. Displaced native Old English swīġe.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪl(ə)ns/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪləns/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -aɪləns
- Hyphenation: sil‧ence
silence (usually uncountable, plural silences)
- The absence of any sound.
- When the motor stopped, the silence was almost deafening.
- 1990, Martin L. Gore (lyrics and music), “Enjoy the Silence”, in Violator, performed by Depeche Mode:
- Words like violence break the silence / Come crashing in into my little world
- deadly silence
- in silence
- total silence
- The act of refraining from speaking.
- "You have the right to silence," said the police officer.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- Then we relapsed into a discomfited silence, and wished we were anywhere else. But Miss Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud, and with such a hearty enjoyment that instead of getting angry and more mortified we began to laugh ourselves, and instantly felt better.
- 1832, Daniel Webster, "a convention", quoted in The History of the Union, and of the Constitution by Charles Chauncey Burr
- The administration itself keeps a profound silence.
- Form of meditative worship practiced by the Society of Friends (Quakers); meeting for worship.
- During silence a message came to me that there was that of God in every person.
lack of any sound
right to not speak during arrest
not speaking as meditation or prayer
silence (third-person singular simple present silences, present participle silencing, simple past and past participle silenced)
- (transitive) To make (someone or something) silent.
- Synonym: mute
- Can you silence the crowd, so we can start the show?
- (transitive) To repress the expression of something.
- Women, as well as children, have their thoughts or emotions routinely silenced.
- (transitive) To suppress criticism, etc.
- Silence the critics.
- Silence the doubters.
- 2011 December 19, Kerry Brown, “Kim Jong-il obituary”, in The Guardian:
- A state ideology, mixing nationalism, and basic Marxist economics, going under the name "Juche", was constructed, and Kim Il-sung effectively silenced, disposed of and cleared away any opposition, isolating the country and exercising an iron grip on the military, the state media and the government and party organs.
- (molecular biology) To block gene expression.
- (euphemistic) To murder.
- 2013, Mark Shaw, The Poison Patriarch: How the Betrayals of Joseph P. Kennedy Caused the Assassination of JFK, →ISBN, page 150:
- They, and others through the years, believed Ruby must have acted on his own since there was no logic to the supposition that anyone could trust an uncontrollable, unreliable loudmouth like Ruby to silence Oswald.
to make something silent
to suppress criticism
- (imperative) Be silent.
- Silence! Enough of your insolence!
- 2007 September 17, Spark of Insanity, spoken by Achmed the Dead Terrorist (Jeff Dunham):
- (in response to laughter from the audience)
Silence! I kill you!
From Latin silentium (“silence”).
silence m (plural silences)
- Antonyms: bruit, cacophonie, mélodie, musique
- en silence
- faire silence
- le silence est d'or
- minute de silence
- passer sous silence
- réduire au silence
- silence, moteur, action
- silence radio
- “silence”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
silenco (“silence”) + -e (indicates an adverb).
From Old French silence, from Latin silentium.
- Silence; the state of refraining or refusing to speak.
- c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.), published c. 1410, Apocalips 8:1, page 120r; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
- And whanne he hadde opened þe ſeuenþe ſeel. a ſilence was maad in heuene as an half an our.
- And when he had opened the seventh seal, silence occurred in heaven for half an hour.
- Peace, calm; a state of tranquil and restful behaviour.
- Quietness; a lack of sound or speaking (for a given area or time).
- Refraining from excessive speaking or talking.
- The following of a religious vow of silence.
- (rare) The termination of a dispute or conflict.
- (rare) Secrecy or freedom from disruption.
- “sī̆lence, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2018-11-03.
silence f (plural silences)
- silence (absence of noise)
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Latin
- Latin terms suffixed with -ium
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
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- Rhymes:English/aɪləns/2 syllables
- English lemmas
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- English uncountable nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with usage examples
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- English verbs
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- en:Molecular biology
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- French 2-syllable words
- French terms with IPA pronunciation
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- French lemmas
- French nouns
- French countable nouns
- French masculine nouns
- Ido terms suffixed with -e
- Ido lemmas
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- Middle English terms borrowed from Old French
- Middle English terms derived from Old French
- Middle English terms derived from Latin
- Middle English terms with IPA pronunciation
- Middle English lemmas
- Middle English nouns
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- Middle English terms with quotations
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- Middle French lemmas
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- Middle French countable nouns