Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: , present participle of silere 'to be silent'

silent

adjective
     
Related topics: Film, Linguistics
si‧lent W3
1

not speaking

a) not saying anything:
Alan was silent.
remain/stay/keep silent
She kept silent, forcing Buchanan to continue.
The crowd fell silent (=became silent) when the President appeared.
b) [only before noun] not talking much to other people
the strong silent type (=a man who looks strong and does not talk very much)
2

not communicating

failing or refusing to talk about something or express an opinion
silent on/about
The report was silent on the subject.
3

quiet

without any sound, or not making any sound:
The large house was silent and lonely.
At last the guns fell silent.
Julie offered up a silent prayer that she would pass her exam.
as silent as the grave (=completely silent in a mysterious or uncomfortable way)
4

films

AMF [only before noun] a silent film has pictures but no sound
5

letter

SL a silent letter in a word is not pronounced:
The 'w' in 'wreck' is silent.
silently adverb:
He sat silently by the bed.
WORD 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


See also
quiet

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