silent

silent 1 Silent, uncommunicative, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive, close, close-lipped, closemouthed, tight-lipped are comparable when they mean showing restraint in speaking to or with others.
Silent and uncommunicative often imply a tendency to say no more than is absolutely necessary as a matter of habit
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he had had a rather unhappy boyhood; and it made him a silent man— Conrad

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a stern, silent man, long a widower— Cather

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whose uncommunicative heart will scarce one precious word impart— Swift

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or an abstinence from speech on some particular occasion typically because of caution or the stress of emotion
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a silent, shaky embrace, each afraid to entrust words to her trembling lips— Styron

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she found the presidential nominee uncommunicative regarding plans to put women in high office— Current Biog.

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Taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech; it usually also connotes unsociableness or the nature of one who grudgingly converses when necessary
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Benson was ... a taciturn hater of woman— Meredith

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always taciturn, he now hardly spoke at all— Cloete

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the farmer was taciturn and drove them speechlessly to the house— Buck

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Reticent implies the disposition to keep one's own counsel or the habit or fact of withholding much that might be said, especially under particular circumstances; the term does not usually con-note silence but, rather, sparing speech or an indisposition to discuss one's private affairs
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all subsequent autobiographies and confessions seem in comparison reticent, wanting in detail— L. P. Smith

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he had been characteristically reticent regarding the details of his own financial affairs— Marquand

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it was a matter upon which he was reticent, and with persons of his kidney a direct question is never very discreet— Maugham

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Reserved implies reticence but it also suggests formality, standoffishness, or a temperamental indisposition to the give and take of friendly conversation or familiar intercourse
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a reserved and distant demeanor

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grave, though with no formal solemnity, reserved if not exactly repressed ... she was yet a woman of unmistakable force of character— Ellis

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habitually was reserved in speech, withholding her opinion— Sackville-West

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Secretive also implies reticence, but it adds an implication of disparagement that reticent usually lacks, for it suggests an opposition to frank or open and often connotes an attempt to hide or conceal something that might properly be told
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a secretive public official is the despair of reporters

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the rapport between this man and his parents was so intense and tacit that it seemed secretiveCheever

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his voice became secretive and confidential, the voice of a man divulging fabulous professional secrets— Dahl

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Close (see also CLOSE 1 & 2) comes near to reticent and secretive in its meaning but it usually denotes a disposition rather than an attitude or manner and, therefore, often suggests taciturnity
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he was too close to name his circumstances to me— Dickens

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Close-lipped and close-mouthed are often used in place of close not only as more picturesque terms but also as more clearly implying a determined refusal to disclose something that another desires to know
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he is always closemouthed about his plans

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she proved a good secretary because she was close-lipped about all matters of a confidential nature

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those few who knew actual combat destination kept close-lippedDodson

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the family has been . . . extraordinarily closemouthed about even the broad outline of its commercial affairs— Freeman Lincoln

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Tight-lipped carries a stronger implication of resolute but not necessarily temperamental reticence
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infinite caution, tight-lipped, unshakable patience, these must be his rule— Buchan

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Analogous words: restrained, curbed, checked, inhibited (see RESTRAIN): discreet, prudent (see under PRUDENCE)
Antonyms: talkative
Contrasted words: *vocal, articulate, fluent, voluble, glib: loquacious, garrulous (see TALKATIVE)
2 *still, stilly, quiet, noiseless
Analogous words: *calm, serene, tranquil, placid, peaceful

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Silent e — is a writing convention in English spelling. A silent letter e at the end of a word often signals a specific pronunciation of the preceding vowel letter, as in the difference between rid /ˈrɪd/ and ride /ˈraɪd/. This orthographic pattern followed …   Wikipedia

  • Silent — Si lent, a. [L. silens, entis, p. pr. of silere to be silent; akin to Goth. ana silan.] 1. Free from sound or noise; absolutely still; perfectly quiet. [1913 Webster] How silent is this town! Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Not speaking; indisposed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • silent — si·lent adj 1: making no utterance: resolved not to speak esp. about a certain topic the right to remain silent 2: making no mention or account: omitting explanation and leaving questions unanswered a criminal statute silent as to the requirement …   Law dictionary

  • silent — [sī′lənt] adj. [L silens < prp. of silere, to be silent, still, prob. < IE base * sē(i) , * sī , to rest > SEED, SIDE, Goth ( ana)silan, to cease (of the wind)] 1. making no vocal sound; not speaking; speechless; mute 2. seldom speaking; …   English World dictionary

  • silent — (adj.) 1560s, from L. silentem, from silere (see SILENCE (Cf. silence)). Phrase strong, silent (type) is attested from 1905. Silent majority in the political sense of mass of people whose moderate views are not publicly expressed and thus… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Silent ai — Silent eye Article de la série Manga Liste des mangas par titre français autre A B C …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Silent pc — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El Silent PC tiene como fin conseguir computadoras más silenciosas. El ruido en las computadoras es para muchos un problema. El constante aumento en la potencia y prestaciones de las computadoras ha provocado que las …   Wikipedia Español

  • Silent — Si lent, n. That which is silent; a time of silence. [R.] The silent of the night. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • silent — [adj1] quiet; speechless bashful, buttoned up*, checked, clammed up*, close, closed up, closemouthed, curbed, dumb, dummied up*, faint, hush, hushed, iced*, inarticulate, incoherent, inconversable, indistinct, inhibited, laconic, mousy, mum, mute …   New thesaurus

  • silent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not making or accompanied by any sound. 2) not speaking or not spoken aloud. 3) (of a film) without an accompanying soundtrack. 4) (of a letter) written but not pronounced, e.g. b in doubt. 5) not prone to speak much. DERIVATIVES… …   English terms dictionary


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