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silence   WordNet 2.0

- a refusal to speak when expected
"his silence about my contribution was surprising"

 
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- the trait of keeping things secret

 
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- the absence of sound
"he needed silence in order to sleep"
"the street was quiet"

 
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- the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking)
"there was a shocked silence"
"he gestured for silence"

 
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- cause to be quiet or not talk
"Please silence the children in the church!"

 
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- keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure
"All dissenters were silenced when the dictator assumed power"

 
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Silence   Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. The state of being silent; entire absence of sound or noise; absolute stillness.

"I saw and heared; for such a numerous host Fled not in silence through the frighted deep." -- Milton.

2. Forbearance from, or absence of, speech; taciturnity; muteness.

3. Secrecy; as, these things were transacted in silence.

"The administration itself keeps a profound silence." -- D. Webster.

4. The cessation of rage, agitation, or tumilt; calmness; quiest; as, the elements were reduced to silence.

5. Absence of mention; oblivion.

"And what most merits fame, in silence hid." -- Milton.

 
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1. Be silent; -- used elliptically for let there be silence, or keep silence. Shak.

 
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1. To compel to silence; to cause to be still; to still; to hush.

"Silence that dreadful bell; it frights the isle." -- Shak.

2. To put to rest; to quiet.

"This would silence all further opposition." -- Clarendon.

"These would have silenced their scruples." -- Rogers.

3. To restrain from the exercise of any function, privilege of instruction, or the like, especially from the act of preaching; as, to silence a minister of the gospel.

"The Rev. Thomas Hooker of Chelmsford, in Essex, was silenced for nonconformity." -- B. Trumbull.

4. To cause to cease firing, as by a vigorous cannonade; as, to silence the batteries of an enemy.

 
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