silent
I. adjective Etymology: Middle English sylent, from Latin silent-, silens, from present participle of silēre to be silent; akin to Gothic anasilan to cease, grow calm Date: 15th century 1. a. making no utterance ; mute, speechless b. indisposed to speak ; not loquacious 2. free from sound or noise ; still 3. performed or borne without utterance ; unspoken <
silent prayer
>
<
silent grief
>
4. a. making no mention <
history is silent about this person
>
b. not widely or generally known or appreciated <
the silent pressures on a person in public office
>
c. making no protest or outcry <
the silent majority
>
5. unpronounced <
the silent b in doubt
>
6. not exhibiting the usual signs or symptoms of presence <
a silent infection
>
7. a. made without spoken dialogue <
silent movies
>
b. of or relating to silent movies • silently adverbsilentness noun Synonyms: silent, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive mean showing restraint in speaking. silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed <
the strong, silent type
>
. taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability <
taciturn villagers
>
. reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs <
was reticent about his plans
>
. reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange <
greetings were brief, formal, and reserved
>
. secretive too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal <
the secretive research and development division
>
. II. noun Date: 1929 a motion picture made without spoken dialogue — usually used in plural

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Silent — Si lent, a. [L. silens, entis, p. pr. of silere to be silent; akin to Goth. ana silan.] 1. Free from sound or noise; absolutely still; perfectly quiet. [1913 Webster] How silent is this town! Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Not speaking; indisposed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • silent — si·lent adj 1: making no utterance: resolved not to speak esp. about a certain topic the right to remain silent 2: making no mention or account: omitting explanation and leaving questions unanswered a criminal statute silent as to the requirement …   Law dictionary

  • silent — [sī′lənt] adj. [L silens < prp. of silere, to be silent, still, prob. < IE base * sē(i) , * sī , to rest > SEED, SIDE, Goth ( ana)silan, to cease (of the wind)] 1. making no vocal sound; not speaking; speechless; mute 2. seldom speaking; …   English World dictionary

  • silent — 1 Silent, uncommunicative, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive, close, close lipped, closemouthed, tight lipped are comparable when they mean showing restraint in speaking to or with others. Silent and uncommunicative often imply a tendency… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • silent — (adj.) 1560s, from L. silentem, from silere (see SILENCE (Cf. silence)). Phrase strong, silent (type) is attested from 1905. Silent majority in the political sense of mass of people whose moderate views are not publicly expressed and thus… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Silent — Si lent, n. That which is silent; a time of silence. [R.] The silent of the night. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • silent — [adj1] quiet; speechless bashful, buttoned up*, checked, clammed up*, close, closed up, closemouthed, curbed, dumb, dummied up*, faint, hush, hushed, iced*, inarticulate, incoherent, inconversable, indistinct, inhibited, laconic, mousy, mum, mute …   New thesaurus

  • silent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not making or accompanied by any sound. 2) not speaking or not spoken aloud. 3) (of a film) without an accompanying soundtrack. 4) (of a letter) written but not pronounced, e.g. b in doubt. 5) not prone to speak much. DERIVATIVES… …   English terms dictionary

  • silent — si|lent [ saılənt ] adjective *** ▸ 1 not making noise ▸ 2 place: very quiet ▸ 3 refusing to talk/inform ▸ 4 without noticeable signs ▸ 5 letter: not pronounced ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) a silent person or group of people does not talk, laugh, or make… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • silent */*/*/ — UK [ˈsaɪlənt] / US adjective 1) a silent person or group of people does not talk, laugh, or make any noise Everyone was totally silent as the president spoke. a crowd of silent onlookers a) used about a person who does not usually talk to other… …   English dictionary

  • silent — [[t]sa͟ɪlənt[/t]] ♦♦♦ 1) ADJ GRADED: v link ADJ Someone who is silent is not speaking. Trish was silent because she was reluctant to put her thoughts into words... He spoke no English and was completely silent during the visit... They both fell… …   English dictionary

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