silence definition, meaning - what is silence in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “silence”

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silence

noun uk   us   /ˈsaɪ.ləns/

silence noun (QUIET)

B1 [U] a period without any sound; complete quiet: A loud crash of thunder broke the silence of the night. Silence reigned (= there was complete silence) in the church.
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silence noun (NO SPEAKING)

B1 [U] a state of not speaking or writing or making a noise: The soldiers listened in silence as their captain gave the orders. "Silence! (= Stop talking!)" shouted the teacher. My request for help was met with silence (= I received no answer). Their mother's angry words reduced the children to silence.B2 [C] a period of time in which there is complete quiet or no speaking: Their conversation was punctuated by uncomfortable silences.C2 [U or C] a state of refusing to speak about something or answer questions, or a state of not communicating: My request for help was met with silence (= I received no answer). Her silence on/about what had happened to her surprised everyone. I don't expect to hear from her now, after three years' silence (= three years in which she has not spoken or written to me).
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silence

verb [T] uk   us   /ˈsaɪ.ləns/
to make someone or something be quiet: The teacher raised his voice to silence the class (= to make them stop talking). Her remark about his appearance completely silenced him (= made him unable to answer).figurative The enemy's guns were silenced (= made to stop firing) in a surprise attack. to prevent someone from expressing their views or from criticizing or opposing someone: Big companies file lawsuits to silence their critics. The more they try to silence us, the more we will speak out. Al Capone silenced his opponents by killing them.
(Definition of silence from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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