complete absence of sound or noise [= quiet]
Nothing disturbed the silence of the night.
silence falls/descends (on/upon something)
After the explosion, an eerie silence fell upon the scene.
break/shatter the silence
A loud scream shattered the silence.
complete quiet because nobody is talking:
no talking[uncountable and countable]
There was a brief silence before anyone answered.
The four men sat in silence.
'How long have you been here?' I asked. There was complete silence.
'Silence in court!' roared the judge.
embarrassed/awkward/stunned etc silence
There was an awkward silence between them.
The accused exercised his right to silence (=the legal right to choose to say nothing).
failure or refusal to discuss something or answer questions about something
The government's silence on such an important issue seems very strange.
Once again the answer was a deafening silence (=a very noticeable refusal to discuss something).
failure to write a letter to someone, telephone them etc:
After two years of silence he suddenly got in touch with us again.
a period of time in which everyone stops talking as a sign of honour and respect towards someone who has died