silence


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si·lence

 (sī′ləns)
n.
1. The condition or quality of being or keeping still and silent.
2. The absence of sound; stillness.
3. A period of time without speech or noise.
4. Refusal or failure to speak out.
v.tr. si·lenced, si·lenc·ing, si·lenc·es
1. To make silent or bring to silence: silenced the crowd with a gesture.
2. To curtail the expression of; suppress: silencing all criticism; silenced their opponents.
3. Genetics To interfere with the expression of (a gene or gene segment) so that its biological function is suppressed.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silēns, silent-, present participle of silēre, to be silent.]

silence

(ˈsaɪləns)
n
1. the state or quality of being silent
2. the absence of sound or noise; stillness
3. refusal or failure to speak, communicate, etc, when expected: his silence on the subject of their promotion was alarming.
4. a period of time without noise
5. oblivion or obscurity
vb (tr)
6. to bring to silence
7. to put a stop to; extinguish: to silence all complaint.
[C13: via Old French from Latin silēntium, from silēre to be quiet. See silent]

si•lence

(ˈsaɪ ləns)

n., v. -lenced, -lenc•ing,
interj. n.
1. absence of any sound or noise; stillness.
2. the state or fact of being silent.
3. absence or omission of mention or comment.
4. the state of being forgotten; oblivion.
5. concealment; secrecy.
v.t.
6. to put or bring to silence; still.
7. to put (doubts, fears, etc.) to rest; quiet.
interj.
8. be silent!
[1175–1225; < Old French < Latin silentium. See silent, -ence]

silence

  • obmutescence, obmutescent - Obmutescence is the act of becoming mute or silent—usually a stubborn, willful act; if you are inclined to silence, you are obmutescent.
  • oyez - Meaning a call for silence and attention, it descends from Anglo-Norman oyez/oiez, "to hear" or "hear ye."
  • silential - Describing something performed in silence.
  • omerta - The code of silence in the Mafia, from the Italian word for "humility."

Silence

 

See Also: SECRECY

  1. Behaved a little like a stuffed frog with laryngitis —P. G. Wodehouse
  2. A brief silence, like an indrawn breath —Sylvia Plath
  3. A brittle silence stretched like iced cords through the kitchen —Anthony E. Stockanes
  4. Dole out his words like federal grants —Shelby Hearon
  5. Dumb as a drum with a hole in it —Charles Dickens
  6. Dumb as a yearning brute —Martin Cruz Smith
  7. The enfolding silence was like an echo —William Styron
  8. Fall silently, like dew on roses —John Dryden
  9. A great painful silence came down, as after the ringing of a church bell —Loren D. Estleman
  10. Grew still, like a congregation in silent prayer —Edgar Lee Masters
  11. Hears the silence … like a heart that has ceased to beat —Joyce Carol Oates
  12. (The room was suddenly full of … ) heavy silence, like a fallen cake —Raymond Chandler
  13. Her silence bore down on him like a tombstone —Heinrich Böll
  14. Her silence had a frequency all its own … like one of those dog whistles that make a sound only dogs can hear —a sound that cracked eggs, or something —Larry McMurtry
  15. He tried to say something but his tongue hung in his mouth like a dried fruit on a tree —Bernard Malamud
  16. (The crowded courtroom grew as) hushed and still as a deserted church —Robert Traver
  17. Hushed like a holy place —Lynn Sharon Schwartz
  18. A hush prevailed like that in an art gallery —Jean Stafford
  19. A hush rose like a noisy fog —Bernard Malamud
  20. I’ll be like an oyster —Ivan Turgenev

    The character making this statement in A Month in the Country underscores it with not another syllable.

  21. Men fear silence as they fear solitude, because both give them a glimpse of the terror of life’s nothingness —André Maurois
  22. Moving as silently as fish under water —Ross Macdonald
  23. Mute like a faded tapestry —Louis MacNeice
  24. Mute as a fish —John Melton
  25. Mute as a gargoyle —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  26. My tongue lay like a stone in my mouth —Pat Conroy
  27. Noiseless as fear in a wilderness —John Keats
  28. Quiet as the visible murmur is their vaporizing breath —William Faulkner
  29. Quiet and meaningless as wind in dry grass —T. S. Eliot
  30. Quiet as a lady’s fart —Harold Adams
  31. Quiet as a lamb —William Langland
  32. Quiet as a mouse —Anon
  33. Quiet as an eel swimming in oil —Arthur Baer
  34. Quiet as a nun —William Wordsworth

    English novelist Antonia Fraser borrowed Wordsworth’s simile for a mystery novel about a nun.

  35. (It was) quiet as a prayer —Mary Lee Settle
  36. (The whole immense room … was) quiet as a sepulchre —Walter De La Mare
  37. Quiet as a stone —John Keats
  38. Quiet as a street at night —Rupert Brooke
  39. Quiet as a street of tombs in a buried city —John Ruskin
  40. Quiet as a wasp in one’s nose —John Ray’s Proverbs
  41. Quiet as a wooden-legged man on a tin roof —Anon

    This is one of many American folk similes incorporated by Carl Sandburg into his unique long poem, The People, Yes.

  42. (The house was as) quiet as death, as the inside of a skull —John Fowles
  43. Quiet as dust —Ken Kesey
  44. (Her mind was) quiet, as if a needle had been lifted from a phonograph record —Ellen Gilchrist
  45. (The town was all as) quiet as the hills —A. E. Coppard
  46. Quiet as two tombs —Robert B. Parker
  47. Quietly as a moth —Louis Bromfield
  48. Quietly as smoke rising —Loren D. Estleman
  49. Quiet … pressed on her eardrums like a weight —Hortense Calisher
  50. Quiet settled in the room like snow —Rumer Godden
  51. Significant silences like fingers that point —William Bronk
  52. The silence seemed to come drifting down like flakes of snow —Katherine Mansfield
  53. Silence fell like a guillotine in the middle of raw, bleeding conversations —Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  54. The silence around them, like the silence inside a mouth, squirms with colors —James Dickey
  55. Silence as absolute as death —Robert Penn Warren
  56. Silence as deep as held breath —John Yount
  57. (It was Sunday, and there was a feeling of quietness,) a silence as though nature were at rest —W. Somerset Maugham
  58. Silence beat about them like waves —Mavis Gallant
  59. The silence between us … it lay coiled like a sleeping cat, graceful in its way but liable to claw if stroked indelicately —Scott Spencer

    See Also: PEOPLE, INTERACTION

  60. Silence descending over the room like a blackwinged bird —John Rechy
  61. Silence drifting in … settling like dust —Helen Hudson
  62. The silence [at the other end of telephone] … felt absolute, as if he had been trying to telephone God —William Mcllvanney
  63. Silence filled the space [of empty room] like water in a lock —Julia Whedon
  64. Silence filled the sunlit room like gas —Harvey Swados
  65. Silence grand as Versailles —Lorrie Moore
  66. Silence heavy in the air like a threat —William Boyd
  67. Silence … hung in the air like a dead pheasant —Penelope Gilliatt
  68. Silence is deep as eternity —Thomas Carlyle
  69. Silence is his delight and instruction now … as if a blessed quiet came to him like water made into music —George Garrett
  70. Silence … like a great hand pressed across a mouth struggling to give vent to a scream —Stephen French Whitman
  71. Silence … like an explosion —John Fowles
  72. The silence like an ocean rolled, and broke against my ear —Emily Dickinson
  73. The silence of the place was like a sleep, so full of rest it seemed —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  74. Silence … poured in between them like a drifting dune —Lawrence Durrell
  75. The silence ran between them like a fuse —William McIlvanney
  76. Silence, rather like somebody had died —Elizabeth Spencer
  77. Silence … rich and winey, like a rest in music —Zona Gale
  78. Silence rose like a mountain —Arthur A. Cohen
  79. Silence settled on him like a mist —Frank Ross
  80. Silence … so intense that it was like a third presence in the room —Antonia White
  81. Silence so thick that he imagined he could cut a slice out of it, like a succulent melon —Ella Leffland
  82. Silence … steadily filling up the bare white room, like water rising in a tank —Christopher Isherwood
  83. Silence stretched out like membrane on the point of tearing —Ross Macdonald
  84. Silence [in tension-filled room] stretched like a wire vibrating with impulses that were never heard —Hortense Calisher
  85. Silence that falls between them … like deep snow —Donald Justice
  86. Silence that fell upon her like a restraining hand —Nadine Gordimer
  87. Silence that made his own breathing seem like the breaking of distant surf —Mark Helprin
  88. Silence walked beside them like the ghost of a dead man —W. Somerset Maugham
  89. The silence [in the room] was like an invasion, a possession by the great silent mountains —Gina Berriault
  90. The silence was like a tranquilizer —Mignon F. Ballard
  91. Silent as a burglar behind a curtain —Raymond Chandler
  92. Silent as a cat on velvet —Reynolds Price
  93. Silent as a country churchyard —Thomas Babington Macaulay
  94. Silent as a ghost —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  95. (Rooms) silent as a lantern —Daniela Gioseffi
  96. Silent as a midnight thought —Anne Finch
  97. Silent as a prisoner —Richard Ford
  98. Silent as a snowflake settled on the ground —Donald Seaman
  99. Silent as a standing pool —William Wordsworth
  100. Silent as a stuffed sausage —Helen Hudson
  101. Silent as a white shark —Diane Ackerman
  102. Silent as despair —John Greenleaf Whittier
  103. Silent as despairing love —William Blake

    A modern variant: “Silent as a breaking heart.”

  104. Silent as flight —Wendell Berry
  105. (An object) silent as pillows —Diane Wakoski
  106. Silent as rain or fleece —Lawrence Durrell
  107. [Thoughts] silent … as space —Lord George Byron

    Here is the complete simile as it appeared in Don Juan: “There was a depth of feeling to embrace … thoughts, boundless, deep, but silent too as space.”

  108. Silent as the moon —John Milton

    Many writers continue to link the moon with silence, with frequent twists and extensions. Some examples from contemporary literature include: “She was as silent and distant as the moon” from a short story by Kate Wheeler and “Silent as the dark side of the moon” from Water Music by T. Coraghessan Boyle.

  109. Silent as the pictures on the wall —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  110. Silent as the rays of the sun —Slogan, Silent Glow Oil Burner Corporation
  111. Silent as thought —Sir William Davenant
  112. Silent as your shadow —Colley Cibber
  113. Silent … like an empty room —Carlos Baker
  114. Silent like a stockpiled bomb —C.D.B. Bryan
  115. Silently as a dream —William Cowper

    “Silent as a dream” variations include: “Dumb as a dream” by Algernon Charles Swinburne and “Mute as any dream” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

  116. (Made his way through the yard as) silently as a tom-cat on the prowl —Donald Seaman
  117. Silently as a turtle —John Hersey
  118. Silent men, like still waters, are deep and dangerous —H. G. Bohn’s Handbook of Proverbs
  119. (The crowd was) silent … totally, in a hush like the air in the treetops —Paul Horgan
  120. A small silence came between us, as precise as a picture hanging on a wall —Jean Stafford
  121. So quiet … it felt like Sunday without church —Elizabeth Spencer
  122. (You were) so silent it was like playing with a snowman —Martin Cruz Smith
  123. Soundless as a gong before it’s struck —Donald Justice
  124. Soundless as any breeze —Dame Edith Sitwell
  125. The sound of the silence was like the hum of her own nerves stretched taut —William Humphrey
  126. Speechless as an anchorite —Lawrence Durrell
  127. Speechless as though his tongue were paralyzed —Ouida
  128. Stealthy silence as of a neatly executed crime —Joseph Conrad
  129. (The house was) still as a bottomless well —Hugh Walpole
  130. Still as a desert —Anon
  131. Still as a mouse —Richard Flecknoe

    An extension of this by Sir Walter Scott: “Quiet as a mouse in a hole.”

  132. Still as a stone —The Holy Bible/Exodus
  133. Still as mourners —Mark Strand
  134. Still as the grave —William Shakespeare
  135. Still like gulls —W. H. Auden
  136. Stillness struck like a stopped guitar —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  137. A sudden silence … shook them like an inaudible explosion —Frank Tuohy
  138. There seemed to be a lot of silence in the house, like something deep and sticky you had to wade through —Jane Rogers
  139. There was absolute silence. It said as plainly as if silence were a language itself, “Go back.” —Flannery O’Connor
  140. (They walk close together,) silent as painted people —Julie Hayden
  141. Tight-lipped as a Sioux —Charles Johnson
  142. Tongues tight as immigrants —Daniel Berrigan
  143. Untalkative as native Vermonters —Max Lerner on commuters
  144. Unheard like dog whistles pitched too high for human ears —George Garrett
  145. Uses silence like a blackjack —Tim O’Brien
  146. Vocal chords seem glued together like two uncut pages in a book —Elyse Sommer
  147. Withdraw behind a wall of silence like children confronted with the disapproval of an authority figure —Margaret Millar

Silence

 

(See also SECRECY.)

have an ox on the tongue See BRIBERY.

lose one’s tongue To lose temporarily the power of speech, to be struck dumb. Such speechlessness is usually attributed to emotions such as shyness, fear, or surprise.

pipe down To become quiet or mute; to cease talking. In this expression, pipe may carry any of its numerous sound-related meanings, ranging from a shrill noise to the vocal cords themselves. In contemporary usage, the phrase is most often imperative.

“Pipe down,” replied the husband. “What do you expect for a $10 paint job, grand opera?” (Kansas City Star, March, 1932)

see a wolf To temporarily lose one’s voice, to become tongue-tied. The phrase expresses the old belief that if a man saw a wolf before the wolf’saw him, the man would temporarily lose the power of speech. The expression dates from the late 16th century.

Our young companion has seen a wolf, … and has lost his tongue in consequence. (Sir Walter Scott, Quentin Durward, 1823)

silence


Past participle: silenced
Gerund: silencing

Imperative
silence
silence
Present
I silence
you silence
he/she/it silences
we silence
you silence
they silence
Preterite
I silenced
you silenced
he/she/it silenced
we silenced
you silenced
they silenced
Present Continuous
I am silencing
you are silencing
he/she/it is silencing
we are silencing
you are silencing
they are silencing
Present Perfect
I have silenced
you have silenced
he/she/it has silenced
we have silenced
you have silenced
they have silenced
Past Continuous
I was silencing
you were silencing
he/she/it was silencing
we were silencing
you were silencing
they were silencing
Past Perfect
I had silenced
you had silenced
he/she/it had silenced
we had silenced
you had silenced
they had silenced
Future
I will silence
you will silence
he/she/it will silence
we will silence
you will silence
they will silence
Future Perfect
I will have silenced
you will have silenced
he/she/it will have silenced
we will have silenced
you will have silenced
they will have silenced
Future Continuous
I will be silencing
you will be silencing
he/she/it will be silencing
we will be silencing
you will be silencing
they will be silencing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been silencing
you have been silencing
he/she/it has been silencing
we have been silencing
you have been silencing
they have been silencing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been silencing
you will have been silencing
he/she/it will have been silencing
we will have been silencing
you will have been silencing
they will have been silencing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been silencing
you had been silencing
he/she/it had been silencing
we had been silencing
you had been silencing
they had been silencing
Conditional
I would silence
you would silence
he/she/it would silence
we would silence
you would silence
they would silence
Past Conditional
I would have silenced
you would have silenced
he/she/it would have silenced
we would have silenced
you would have silenced
they would have silenced
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.silence - the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking)silence - the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking); "there was a shocked silence"; "he gestured for silence"
condition, status - a state at a particular time; "a condition (or state) of disrepair"; "the current status of the arms negotiations"
2.silence - the absence of sound; "he needed silence in order to sleep"; "the street was quiet"
hush, stillness, still - (poetic) tranquil silence; "the still of the night"
speechlessness - the property of being speechless
quietness, soundlessness - the property of making no sound
sound property - an attribute of sound
sound - the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause; "the sound of rain on the roof"; "the beautiful sound of music"
3.silence - a refusal to speak when expected; "his silence about my contribution was surprising"
uncommunicativeness - the trait of being uncommunicative
4.silence - the trait of keeping things secret
uncommunicativeness - the trait of being uncommunicative
mum - secrecy; "mum's the word"
Verb1.silence - cause to be quiet or not talk; "Please silence the children in the church!"
shush - silence (someone) by uttering `shush!'
conquer, inhibit, stamp down, suppress, subdue, curb - to put down by force or authority; "suppress a nascent uprising"; "stamp down on littering"; "conquer one's desires"
lull, calm down - become quiet or less intensive; "the fighting lulled for a moment"
shout down - silence or overwhelm by shouting
pipe down, quiesce, quiet, quiet down, quieten, hush - become quiet or quieter; "The audience fell silent when the speaker entered"
gag, muzzle - prevent from speaking out; "The press was gagged"
2.silence - keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure; "All dissenters were silenced when the dictator assumed power"
conquer, inhibit, stamp down, suppress, subdue, curb - to put down by force or authority; "suppress a nascent uprising"; "stamp down on littering"; "conquer one's desires"

silence

verb
1. quieten, still, quiet, cut off, subdue, stifle, cut short, quell, muffle, deaden, strike dumb The shock silenced him completely.
quieten rouse, amplify, make louder
2. suppress, gag, muzzle, censor, stifle He tried to silence anyone who spoke out against him.
suppress support, encourage, spread, promote, broadcast, foster, publicize, disseminate, promulgate, ungag
3. kill, do in (informal), eliminate (slang), take out (slang), dispatch, bump off (slang), rub out (U.S. slang) A hit man had been sent to silence her.
Quotations
"Silence is the virtue of fools" [Francis Bacon Advancement of Learning]
"Silence is more eloquent than words" [Thomas Carlyle Heroes and Hero-Worship]
Proverbs
"Silence is golden"
"Silence means consent"

silence

noun
1. The avoidance of speech:
2. The absence of sound or noise:
verb
To cause to become silent:
Translations
إصْمِت، أُسْكُتسُكوت، صَمْتسُكون عَنصَمْتيُسْكِت
tichoticho!ztišitmlčení
stilhedtavshedbringe til tavshed
hiljaisuusäänettömyys
tišina
csendcsend: csend legyen!elhallgattathallgatás
òagga niîur íòögnòögn!òögn, hljóîþögn
静けさ
침묵
nutildytitylėdamastylėjimastylintistylos!
apklusinātklusēšanaklusu!klusuciešanaklusums
linişte
mlčanie
tišinamolče
tystnad
ความเงียบ
sessizliksusmasusturmakSusun!
sự im lặng

silence

[ˈsaɪləns]
A. N
1. (= absence of speech) → silencio m
a two minutes' silencedos minutos de silencio
silence!¡silencio!
they stood in silencepermanecieron en silencio
in dead or complete silenceen silencio absoluto
there was silence on the matterno se hizo comentario alguno sobre la cuestión
to pass over sth in silencesilenciar algo
to reduce sb to silencedejar a algn sin argumentos
silence is goldenen boca cerrada no entran moscas
silence gives or means or lends consentquien calla otorga
2. (= absence of sound) → silencio m
a sudden shot broke the silenceun disparo repentino rompió el silencio
3. (= unwillingness to communicate) → silencio m
he broke his silence for the first time yesterdayrompió su silencio ayer por primera vez
B. VT
1. (= quieten) [+ person, crowd] → hacer callar, acallar; [+ bells, guns, cries] → silenciar, acallar
to silence one's conscienceacallar la conciencia
2. (= put a stop to) [+ criticism, fears, doubts] → acallar, silenciar
he silenced his criticssilenció a sus críticos
3. (= kill) → eliminar

silence

[ˈsaɪləns]
n
(= quietness) → silence m
There was a shocked silence → Il y eut un silence choqué.
in silence → en silence
(= refusal to speak) → silence m
to break one's silence → rompre son silence
the right to silence → le droit de garder le silence
a conspiracy of silence → une conspiration du silence
vt
(= make quiet) → faire taire
A ringing phone silenced her → La sonnerie d'un téléphone la fit taire.
[+ opposition, critics, debate, protest] → faire taire, réduire au silence

silence

nStille f; (= quietness also)Ruhe f; (= absence of talk also, of letters etc)Schweigen nt; (on a particular subject) → (Still)schweigen nt; silence!Ruhe!; in silencestill; (= not talking also)schweigend; there was silencealles war still; there was a short silencees herrschte für kurze Zeit Stille; the conversation was full of awkward silencesdie Unterhaltung kam immer wieder ins Stocken; to break the silencedie Stille durchbrechen; he broke his silenceer brach sein Schweigen; to observe a minute’s (Brit) or moment’s (US) silenceeine Schweige- or Gedenkminute einlegen (in memory of für)
vt (lit, fig)zum Schweigen bringen; to silence somebody’s tonguejdn zum Schweigen bringen

silence

[ˈsaɪləns]
1. nsilenzio
silence! → silenzio!
in (dead or complete) silence → in (totale or perfetto) silenzio
there was silence on or about the subject → non si è parlato dell'argomento
to pass over sth in silence → passare qc sotto silenzio
2. vt (person, critics) → ridurre al silenzio, far tacere; (conscience) → mettere a tacere

silence

(ˈsailəns) noun
1. (a period of) absence of sound or of speech. A sudden silence followed his remark.
2. failure to mention, tell something etc. Your silence on this subject is disturbing.
verb
to cause to be silent. The arrival of the teacher silenced the class.
interjection
be silent!.
ˈsilencer noun
a piece of equipment fitted to a gun, or (American ˈmuffler) in an engine, for making noise less.
ˈsilent (-t) adjective
1. free from noise. The house was empty and silent.
2. not speaking. He was silent on that subject.
3. not making any noise. This lift is quite silent.
ˈsilently adverb
in silence
without saying anything. The children listened in silence to the story.

silence

صَمْت ticho stilhed Stille σιωπή silencio hiljaisuus silence tišina silenzio 静けさ 침묵 stilte stillhet cisza silêncio тишина tystnad ความเงียบ sessizlik sự im lặng 沉默

silence

n. silencio.
References in classic literature ?
March broke the silence that followed Jo's words, by saying in her cheery voice, "Do you remember how you used to play Pilgrims Progress when you were little things?
With a kind of wriggle, like a fish returned to the brook by the fisherman, Biddlebaum the silent began to talk, striving to put into words the ideas that had been accumulated by his mind during long years of silence.
I'll help you go over your papers, Professor," he added, and with a wink and a motion of his hand, he enjoined silence on his friend.
We stood there in friendly silence, while the feeble minstrel sheltered in Antonia's hair went on with its scratchy chirp.
By night the same muteness of humanity before the shrieks of the ocean prevailed; still in silence the men swung in the bowlines; still wordless ahab stood up to the blast.
The drive was taken almost in silence, but it was a sweet, comforting silence both to uncle Jerry and the girl.
The only noticeable result of the interview, when they presented themselves at the breakfast-table, appeared in the marked silence which they both maintained on the topic of the theatrical performance.
They walked in silence till they came in front of the Intunkulu, the royal house; then they stopped and sang this song for the king to hear:--
The exquisite silence was evidently waiting for the exquisite voice, that presently not so much broke as mingled with it, like a swan swimming through a lake.
There was another moan, followed by a long silence.
And now from underneath the catafalque, so it seemed, there rose a low sweet sound of flutes, which, coming unbroken by human voice (for there silence itself kept silence), had a soft and languishing effect.
In silence, too, they traversed the by-street; and it was not until they had come into a neighbouring thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some stirrings of life, that Mr.