Etymology
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confute (v.)

"prove to be false or invalid, overthrow by evidence or stronger argument," 1520s, from French confuter, from Latin confutare "repress, check; disprove, restrain, silence," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + *futare "to beat," which is perhaps from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." Related: Confuted; confuting.

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oyez (interj.)

a call for silence and attention; the introduction to a proclamation made by an officer of a law-court," early 15c., from Anglo-French oyez "hear ye!" (late 13c., Old French oiez), a cry uttered (usually thrice) to call attention, from Latin subjunctive audiatis, plural imperative of audire "to hear" (from PIE root *au- "to perceive").

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aposiopesis (n.)
rhetorical artifice wherein the speaker suddenly breaks off in the middle of a sentence, 1570s, from Latin, from Greek aposiopesis "a becoming silent," also "rhetorical figure of breaking off," from aposiopan "become silent," from apo "off, away" (see apo-) + siope "silence," from PIE root *swī- "to be silent." Related: Aposiopetic.
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ho (interj.)
exclamation of surprise, etc., c. 1300; as an exclamation calling attention or demanding silence, late 14c. Used after the name of a place to which attention is called (as in Westward-Ho) it dates from 1590s, originally a cry of boatmen, etc., announcing departures for a particular destination. Ho-ho-ho expressing laughter is recorded from mid-12c.
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confutation (n.)

"act of disproving or proving to be false," mid-15c., from Latin confutationem (nominative confutatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of confutare "repress, check; disprove, restrain, silence," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + *futare "to beat," which is perhaps from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." Confutation of the person in logic is argument ad hominem.

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whist (n.)
card game for four, 1660s, alteration of whisk, name of a kind of card game, alluded to as early as 1520s, perhaps so called from the notion of "whisking" up cards after each trick, and thus from whisk (v.). Altered perhaps on assumption that the word was an interjection invoking silence, by influence of whist "silent" (15c.).
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reticence (n.)

"avoidance of saying too much or speaking too freely," c. 1600, from French réticence (16c.), from Latin reticentia "silence, a keeping silent," from present participle stem of reticere "keep silent," from re-, here perhaps intensive (see re-), + tacere "be silent" (see tacit). "Not in common use until after 1830" [OED]. Related: Reticency.

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omerta (n.)

Mafia code of obedience to the leader and silence about the organization and its business, 1909, from Italian omertà, a dialectal form of umilta "humility," in reference to submission of individuals to the group interest, from Latin humilitas "lowness, small stature; insignificance; baseness, littleness of mind," in Church Latin "meekness," from humilis "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground," from humus "earth," from PIE root *dhghem- "earth."

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tacit (adj.)
c. 1600, "silent, unspoken," from French tacite and directly from Latin tacitus "that is passed over in silence, done without words, assumed as a matter of course, silent," past participle of tacere "be silent, not speak," from suffixed form of PIE root *tak- "to be silent" (source also of Gothic þahan, Old Norse þegja "to be silent," Old Norse þagna "to grow dumb," Old Saxon thagian, Old High German dagen "to be silent"). The musical instruction tacet is the 3rd person present singular of the Latin verb. Related: Tacitly.
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hush (v.)

1540s (trans.), 1560s (intrans.), variant of Middle English huisht (late 14c.), probably of imitative origin, with terminal -t lost probably by being mistaken for a past tense suffix. The sounds chosen presumably for "being sibilations requiring the least muscular effort and admitting of the faintest utterance" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Hushed; hushing.

Figurative use from 1630s. As an interjection meaning "be quiet," attested by c. 1600. To hush (one's) mouth "be quiet" is attested from 1878. Hush up "suppress talk for secrecy's sake" is from 1630s. Hush-money "bribe paid to ensure silence" is attested from 1709. Hush-puppy "deep-fried ball of cornmeal batter" first attested 1899; as a type of lightweight soft shoe, it is a proprietary name, registered 1961.

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