Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

silence - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] silence pronunciation in American English /ˈsaɪləns/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesilencing
past tensesilenced
past participlesilenced
  1. 1
    to stop someone or something from speaking or making a sound

    He silenced her with an angry look.

    They were completely silenced by the news.

    After about twenty minutes, someone managed to silence the alarm.

  2. 2
    to prevent someone from giving an opinion or from criticizing you

    Efforts to silence opposition have so far been unsuccessful.

  3. 3
    very informal to kill someone so that they cannot give information to an enemy or someone in authority

    Police suspect the missing witness has been silenced by the mob.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play