musical instruction, 1724, from Latin tacet "is silent," third person singular present indicative of tacere (see tacit).
"a keeping silent, a becoming willfully mute or obstinately speechless," 1640s, from Late Latin obmutescere "to become dumb or mute," from ob "against, before," here perhaps intensive (see ob-) + mutescere "to grow dumb," an inchoative verb formed from mutus "silent, speechless, dumb" (see mute (adj.)).
"habitually silent," 1771, back-formation from taciturnity, or from French taciturne (15c.), from Latin taciturnus "not talkative, noiseless."
c. 1200, "muteness, state of being or keeping silent, a forbearing from speech or utterance," from Old French silence "state of being silent; absence of sound or noise," from Latin silentium "a being silent," from silens, present participle of silere "be quiet or still," a word of unknown origin.
The meaning "absence of sound" in English is from late 14c. The meaning "absence of mention" is from 1570s. Silence is golden (1831) is Carlyle's translation ["Sartor Resartus"] of part of the "Swiss Inscription" Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden.
1897, "one who takes cinematic pictures," agent noun from cinematograph "motion picture projector" (see cinema).