- 1Complete absence of sound: sirens pierce the silence of the night an eerie silence descended over the houseMore example sentences
- She got up slowly and walked along the hallway, and for some reason she was glad of the eerie silence and peacefulness.
- The most underrated element in modern cinema is the sound of silence.
- Unlocking the main door, I step in, taking off my shoes, despite the eerie silence, despite the fear caused by the absence of lights in the hall.
- 1.1The fact or state of abstaining from speech: Karen had withdrawn into sullen silence she was reduced to silence for a momentMore example sentences
- I turned and looked at the ground where Jared lay in silence but his silence was broken every few seconds with spasms of laughter.
- They rode in silence, Cora's a happy and blissful silence, Arlan's a sulky, resentful silence.
- They sat in silence for a moment, and this silence was uncomfortable.
- 1.2The avoidance of mentioning or discussing something: politicians keep their silence on the big questionsMore example sentences
- Please explain as your secrecy and silence is creating a crescendo of innuendo.
- The silence of politicians to this scandal is astounding.
- The alternative is silence: secrecy when self-imposed, censorship when imposed by others.
- 1.3The state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer: a moment of silence presided over by a local ministerMore example sentences
- A short silence in memory of the tsunami victims was observed at the start of the January meeting.
- As we sat in the departure lounge at the airport there was a national moment of silence to honor the dead.
- Some shops are also planning to shut down as a mark of respect, while others are considering a two-minute silence at 11.30 am.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking: the team’s performance silenced their critics freedom of the press cannot be silenced by tanksMore example sentences
- The 4-0 performance was also one Parsley hopes will silence the critics.
- His answer is as refreshing as it has been, by his account, effective in silencing the critics.
- Instead of silencing his critics, it's more likely to provide them with further ammunition.
- 1.1 (usually as adjective silenced) Fit (a gun or other loud mechanism) with a silencer: a silenced .22 rifle
- Without speech or other sound: we finished our meal in silenceMore example sentences
- We ate in silence except for the sound of crunching of chips and slurping of drinks.
- He would think in silence, at meals or in bed or during a walk, sometimes jotting an idea down on a piece of paper.
- We both sat in silence and waited for what seemed to be about an hour for him to come out.
Middle English: from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silere 'be silent'.