from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The condition or quality of being or keeping still and silent.
- n. The absence of sound; stillness.
- n. A period of time without speech or noise.
- n. Refusal or failure to speak out.
- transitive v. To make silent or bring to silence: silenced the crowd with a gesture.
- transitive v. To curtail the expression of; suppress: silencing all criticism; silenced their opponents.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The lack of any sound.
- n. Form of meditative worship practiced by the Society of Friends (Quakers); meeting for worship.
- n. The action of refraining from speaking.
- v. To make (someone or something) silent.
- v. To suppress criticism, etc.
- v. To block gene expression.
- interj. be quiet
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The state of being silent; entire absence of sound or noise; absolute stillness.
- n. Forbearance from, or absence of, speech; taciturnity; muteness.
- n. Secrecy.
- n. The cessation of rage, agitation, or tumilt; calmness; quiest.
- n. Absence of mention; oblivion.
- interj. Be silent; -- used elliptically for let there be silence, or keep silence.
- transitive v. To compel to silence; to cause to be still; to still; to hush.
- transitive v. To put to rest; to quiet.
- transitive v. To restrain from the exercise of any function, privilege of instruction, or the like, especially from the act of preaching.
- transitive v. To cause to cease firing, as by a vigorous cannonade.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state of being or keeping silent; forbearance or restraint of sound; abstinence from speech or other noise; muteness; reticence: as, to listen in silence; the chairman rapped for silence.
- n. Absence of sound or noise; general stillness within the range or the power of hearing: as, the silence of midnight; the silence of the tomb.
- n. Absence of mention: as, the silence of Scripture (on a particular subject); oblivion; obscurity.
- n. In distilled spirits, want of flavor and odor; flatness; deadness. See silent spirit, under silent.
- n. In music, same as rest, 8.
- n. Synonyms See silent.
- To cause to be or keep silent; put or bring to silence; restrain from speech or noise; stop the noise of: as, to silence a battery or a gun-boat.
- To restrain from speech about something; cause or induce to be silent on a particular subject or class of subjects; make silent or speechless, as by restraint of privilege or license, or by unanswerable argument.
- Hence To make quiescent; put at rest or into abeyance; stop the activity of: as, to silence one's conscience.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. cause to be quiet or not talk
- n. the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking)
- n. the trait of keeping things secret
- n. a refusal to speak when expected
- n. the absence of sound
- v. keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silēns, silent-, present participle of silēre, to be silent.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French silence. (Wiktionary)