Definition of quiet in English:

quiet

Syllabification: qui·et
Pronunciation: /ˈkwīət
 
/

adjective (quieter, quietest)

  • 1Making little or no noise: the car has a quiet, economical engine I was as quiet as I could be, but he knew I was there
    More example sentences
    • Already, she could hear the quiet, muffled noise of violins and people talking.
    • There is something very peaceful and satisfying about the sound of their quiet munching and the noise of their feet on frosty grass.
    • You can reduce this noise by selecting quiet equipment or by mounting the unit on a noise-absorbing base.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1(Of a place, period of time, or situation) without much activity, disturbance, or excitement: the street below was quiet, little traffic braving the snow
    More example sentences
    • Yet, not all places were quiet and devoid of activity on Tuesday.
    • She also blames the row on the media desperately looking for an argument in the quiet holiday period.
    • By the time the outcome is known, we will have entered the traditionally quiet summer period that usually lasts from May to September.
    Synonyms
    slow, stagnant, slack, sluggish, inactive, idle
  • 1.2Without being disturbed or interrupted: all he wanted was a quiet drink
    More example sentences
    • Already, a quiet drink in the pub is forever interrupted by people rattling charity boxes.
    • It has emerged that the hotel was one of the establishments the prince favoured when he wanted to enjoy a quiet drink away from his security guards and the prying eyes of tourists.
    • It meant all thoughts of a quiet drink were shattered.
  • 2Carried out discreetly, secretly, or with moderation: we wanted a quiet wedding I’ll have a quiet word with him
    More example sentences
    • His third wedding was quiet and private, with only his closest friends invited.
    • I went to my secret spot, a quiet beach in Madh Island and cried my heart out.
    • There are several white marble benches to sit on to enjoy the quiet beauty of this secret garden.
    Synonyms
    private, confidential, secret, discreet, unofficial, off the record, between ourselves
  • 2.1(Of a person) tranquil and reserved by nature; not brash or forceful: his quiet, middle-aged parents
    More example sentences
    • He was quite a reserved, quiet chap, more of a listener than a talker, perhaps.
    • You are more quiet and reserved in front of strangers, but around some people you open up.
    • Chris, a fairly reserved and quiet fellow, is going to have to learn what it means to be talked to all the time.
  • 2.2 [attributive] Expressed in a restrained or understated way: Molly spoke with quiet confidence
    More example sentences
    • Simple chords, restrained riffs and quiet imagery lead to just a perfect pathos running through each and every song.
    • This is not a restrained man of quiet honour, but a proud warrior of the sea - hair flowing in the breeze.
    • Indeed, in their own quiet, understated way, that's what they've always done.
  • 2.3(Of a color or garment) unobtrusive; not bright or showy.

noun

Back to top  
  • 1Absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm: the ringing of the telephone shattered the early morning quiet
    More example sentences
    • The pace is dictated by the early morning quiet of a misty golf course laid out along Georgia's ocean coast.
    • However, in order to do that, you have got to have relative calm or quiet.
    • We were rewarded with the sound of calling Whooping Cranes piercing the quiet of the early morning, then a close fly over.
  • 1.1Freedom from disturbance or interruption by others: he understood her wish for peace and quiet
    More example sentences
    • Their need for peace and quiet must be respected.
    • Once the gardens are finished, they will be open to the public free of charge on condition that visitors respect the peace and quiet of the hall as a place of retreat.
    • I was desperate for an evening of peace and quiet, and a bit of easy entertainment, but I was being denied it.
    Synonyms
  • 1.2A peaceful or settled state of affairs in social or political life: after several months of comparative quiet, the scandal reerupted in August
    More example sentences
    • Has the organisation begun another deadly bombing campaign after some months of relative quiet?
    • There was an audacious attack in broad daylight on the fortified U.S. consulate after months of relative quiet.
    • The brutal crushing of the protests ushered in a period of uneasy quiet in the country's politics.

verb

chiefly North American Back to top  
  • Make or become silent, calm, or still: [with object]: there are ways of quieting kids down [no object]: the journalists quieted down as Judy stepped onto the dais
    More example sentences
    • She flashes me a brief look of annoyance, quieting me, then changing her demeanor to once again calm and composed, she continues with her explanation.
    • Soon everybody quieted down, and remained silent as we tried to figure out where to go to next.
    • His silences often precede a weighty thought though I doubt the rattling in his head ever quiets.

Phrases

do anything for a quiet life

see life.

keep quiet (or keep someone quiet)

Refrain or prevent someone from speaking or from disclosing something secret.
More example sentences
  • The secret that kept him quiet about his brother was frightening.
  • After a dazzling full debut for England, a media boycott kept him quiet.
  • We tended to think the UN was keeping Europe quiet.

keep something quiet (or keep quiet about something)

Refrain from disclosing information about something; keep something secret.
More example sentences
  • What about companies who prefer to keep things quiet as a trade secret?
  • Caillan assures him that he will keep this information quiet.
  • Strauss always kept quiet about the grim secrets in his own family, namely that his father was a domineering bully, while his mother, a severe depressive, was frequently confined in a mental hospital.
Synonyms
secret, confidential, classified, unrevealed, undisclosed, unknown, under wraps
informal hush-hush, mum
formal sub rosa

on the quiet

informal Without anyone knowing or noticing; secretly or unobtrusively.
More example sentences
  • As her interpreter explained: ‘This thing has been going on here for some time on the quiet.’
  • It's found the perfect cover for lies - appoint someone who's retiring to run your dirty tricks campaign, wash your hands of him after you win the election, and look after your hero on the quiet.
  • He says, ‘I do my bit to improve the world but I think it's very important to get things done on the quiet.’

(as) quiet as the grave

see grave1.

(as) quiet as a mouse

(Of a person or animal) extremely quiet or docile.
More example sentences
  • The faithful animal, which was in general as quiet as a lamb, became like a raging tiger every time he saw the person who had murdered his master.
  • It's only a short while and I'm sure he'll be as quiet as a mouse.
  • He went back to the other children and was as quiet as a mouse, but he kept stealing a glance towards the fireplace.

Derivatives

quietness

noun
More example sentences
  • Its quietness and unruffled calm is, I hope, somewhat deceptive.
  • The quietness and peace symbolised by them are matched only by a visit to the remote areas which inspire these creations.
  • But locals have spoken of their love for the tiny place and said its quietness and solitude is part of its appeal.

Origin

Middle English (originally as a noun denoting peace as opposed to war): via Old French, based on Latin quies, quiet- 'repose, quiet'.

More definitions of quiet

Definition of quiet in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day razz
Pronunciation: raz
verb
tease (someone) playfully