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silence (n.)

c. 1200, "muteness, state of being silent," from Old French silence "state of being silent; absence of sound," from Latin silentium "a being silent," from silens, present participle of silere "be quiet or still," of unknown origin. Meaning "absence of sound" in English is from late 14c.

silence (v.)

1560s, intransitive, "become still or silent;" 1590s, transitive, "make silent," from silence (n.). Related: Silenced; silencing.

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Definitions of silence from WordNet
1
silence (n.)
the state of being silent (as when no one is speaking);
there was a shocked silence
he gestured for silence
silence (n.)
the absence of sound;
he needed silence in order to sleep
Synonyms: quiet
silence (n.)
a refusal to speak when expected;
his silence about my contribution was surprising
Synonyms: muteness
silence (n.)
the trait of keeping things secret;
Synonyms: secrecy / secretiveness
2
silence (v.)
cause to be quiet or not talk;
Please silence the children in the church!
Synonyms: hush / quieten / still / shut up / hush up
silence (v.)
keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure;
All dissenters were silenced when the dictator assumed power
From wordnet.princeton.edu