Meaning of SILENT in English


I. ˈsī-lənt adjective

Etymology: Middle English sylent, from Latin silent-, silens, from present participle of silēre to be silent; akin to Gothic ana silan to cease, grow calm

Date: 15th century


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


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


a. : made without spoken dialogue

silent movies

b. : of or relating to silent movies

• si·lent·ly adverb

• si·lent·ness noun


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

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.