silence noun

1 quietness

ADJ. lengthy, long, prolonged | brief, momentary, a moment's, short There was a moment's silence before she replied. | deep, hushed | absolute, complete, dead, deadly, deathly, total, utter We sat in complete silence, save for the ticking of the clock. A deathly silence hung over the town. | shocked, stunned | awkward, embarrassed, embarrassing, strained, uncomfortable An awkward silence followed. | fraught, heavy, ominous, tense | brooding She fell into long, brooding silences. | stony, sullen | eerie | companionable They walked in companionable silence. | expectant, pregnant | sudden

VERB + SILENCE maintain She maintained a stony silence. | break, interrupt, punctuate, shatter Lewis finally broke the long silence between them. a silence punctuated only by the occasional sniff from the children | lapse into, relapse into, retreat into, subside into, trail into (all only used about people) He lapsed into a sullen silence. | stun sb into The boys were stunned into silence by this news. | be met with Her question was met with an uneasy silence. | observe (= as a sign of respect for the dead, etc.) A minute's silence for the victims will be observed.

SILENCE + VERB descend, fall A sudden silence fell over the room. | hang, prevail, reign Silence reigned. | ensue, follow | deepen, grow, lengthen, spread, stretch He thought for a moment, the silence lengthening.

PREP. in (the) ~ They ate their breakfast in silence.

2 not saying anything about sth

ADJ. deafening The government's only response has been a deafening silence. | dignified | deliberate

VERB + SILENCE keep, maintain He has so far kept a dignified silence on the subject.

PREP. ~ from There seems to have been a deliberate silence from the newspapers.

PHRASES a conspiracy/wall of silence There is a conspiracy of silence about what is happening (= nobody is willing to talk about it). | the right to silence (= the right not to say anything when accused of a crime), a vow of silence She has broken her vow of silence on the issue.