silence Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “silence” in the English Dictionary

"silence" in British English

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silencenoun

uk   /ˈsaɪ.ləns/  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 talk 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 about/on 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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silenceverb [T]

uk   /ˈsaɪ.ləns/  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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"silence" in American English

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silencenoun

 us   /ˈsɑɪ·ləns/
  • silence noun (QUIET)

[U] an absence of sound; complete quiet: A profound silence spread itself through the sleeping house.
  • silence noun (NO SPEAKING)

[C/U] a state of not speaking or making noise: [U] The two men ate in silence and listened to traffic swishing past on the highway. [C] Her question was followed by a long silence (= a long period of time in which no one spoke).

silenceverb [T]

 us   /ˈsɑɪ·ləns/
  • silence verb [T] (STOP FROM SPEAKING)

to stop someone from speaking or from criticizing: Successful action could silence the administration’s critics.
(Definition of silence from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“silence” in British English

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