Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: quietus, from the past participle of quiescere 'to become quiet, rest', from quies; QUIET2


1 adjective
qui‧et1 S2 W2 comparative quieter, superlative quietest

no noise

not making much noise, or making no noise at all:
We'll have to be quiet so as not to wake the baby.
It's a nice car. The engine's really quiet.
I'll be as quiet as a mouse (=very quiet).

not speaking

a) not saying much or not saying anything:
You're very quiet, Mom - is anything the matter?
I didn't know anything about it so I just kept quiet.
quiet confidence/satisfaction/desperation (=having a particular feeling but not talking about it)
a woman whose life of quiet desperation threatens to overwhelm her
quiet authority/dignity (=not saying much but making other people have a particular feeling about you)
Jack's air of quiet authority
b) someone who is quiet does not usually talk very much:
a strange, quiet girl

(be) quiet!

spoken used to tell someone to stop talking or making a noise:
Tanya, be quiet! I'm on the phone.
Quiet, you lot!

keep something quiet/keep quiet about something

to keep information secret:
You're getting married? You kept that quiet!

no activity/people

without much activity or without many people:
It was a Sunday, about three o'clock, and the streets were quiet.
I'd love to go on holiday somewhere where it's nice and quiet.
I'm going to have a quiet night in (=an evening when you stay at home and relax).
Anthony met her in the bar, and they found a quiet corner where they could talk.


BB if business is quiet, there are not many customers [= slack]:
August is a quiet time of year for the retail trade.

keep somebody quiet

to stop someone from talking, complaining, or causing trouble:
Give the kids some crayons - that will keep them quiet for a while.

have a quiet word (with somebody)

especially British English to talk to someone privately when you want to criticize them or tell them about something serious:
Brian's just not keeping up with the workload. Can you have a quiet word?
! Do not confuse quiet (=with little noise) and quite (=fairly) even though they have similar spellings.
quietness noun [uncountable]
quietlyWORD FOCUS: quiet WORD FOCUS: quiet
voice, sound: low , soft, muffled, hushed, subdued

place: peaceful, calm, sleepy, tranquil

completely quiet: silent, you could hear a pin drop

what you say when you want someone to be quiet: sh, shut up not polite, be quiet, keep it down BrE informal


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