silence Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Definition of “silence” - English Dictionary

"silence" in American English

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silencenoun

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

[U] an ​absence of ​sound; ​completequiet: A ​profound silence ​spread itself through the ​sleepinghouse.
  • silence noun (NO SPEAKING)

[C/U] a ​state of not ​speaking or making ​noise: [U] The two men ​ate in silence and ​listened to ​trafficswishing past on the ​highway. [C] Her ​question was ​followed by a ​long silence (= a ​longperiod 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)







"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; ​completequiet: A ​loudcrash 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 ​soldierslistened in silence as ​theircaptain 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 ​completequiet or no ​speaking: Their ​conversation was ​punctuated by ​uncomfortable silences.
C2 [U or C] a ​state of ​refusing to ​talk about something or ​answerquestions, 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 ​teacherraised his ​voice to silence the ​class (= to make them ​stoptalking). Her ​remark about his ​appearancecompletely silenced him (= made him ​unable to ​answer).figurative The enemy's ​guns were silenced (= made to ​stopfiring) in a ​surpriseattack.
to ​prevent someone from ​expressingtheirviews or from ​criticizing or ​opposing someone: Big ​companiesfilelawsuits to silence ​theircritics. 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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