From Middle English stilnesse, from Old English stilnes (“stillness, quiet; absence of noise or disturbance, release, relaxation; silence, abstention from speech; absence of disturbance or molestation, tranquility, peace, security; that which appeases”), equivalent to still + -ness.
- The quality or state of being still.
- Habitual silence or quiet; taciturnity.
- c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii], page 320:
- The grauitie, and ſtillneſſe of your youth / The world hath noted.
- 1977, Stevie Nicks (lyrics and music), “Dreams”, in Rumours, performed by Fleetwood Mac:
- Like a heartbeat drives you mad / In the stillness of remembering what you had / And what you lost