silent treatment

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silent treatment (usually uncountable, plural silent treatments)

  1. (idiomatic) A form of social sanction that consists of ignoring a particular individual, neither speaking to that person nor responding to his or her words.
    • 1917, Jack London, "That Dead Men Rise Up Never" in The Human Drift and Other Stories:
      Finally we gave him the silent treatment, and for weeks before he died we neither spoke to him nor did he speak to us.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually preceded by the.

See also[edit]