Silent vs Reticence - What's the difference?

silent | reticence |

As nouns the difference between silent and reticence

is that silent is (uncountable) that which is ; a time of silence while reticence is tight-lippedness, discretion, avoidance of saying too much.

As a adjective silent

is free from sound or noise; absolutely still; perfectly quiet.



Alternative forms

* scilent


  • Free from sound or noise; absolutely still; perfectly quiet.
  • * 1604 , , Othello , act 5, scene 1:
  • How silent is this town!
  • * 1825 , , Arthur Murphy, The Works of Samuel Johnson , Talboys and Wheeler, page 52:
  • What was formerly performed by fleets and armies, by invasions, sieges, and battles, has been of late accomplished by more silent methods.
  • * 1906 , William Dean Howells and Sidney Dillon Ripley, Certain Delightful English Towns: With Glimpses of the Pleasant Country Between , Harper & Brothers, page 152:
  • The voice of the auctioneer is slow and low ; after a pause, which seems no silenter than the rest of the transaction, he ceases to repeat the bids, and his fish, in the measure of a bushel or so, have gone for a matter of three shillings.
  • Not speaking; indisposed to talk; speechless; mute; taciturn; not loquacious; not talkative.
  • * Broome
  • Ulysses, adds he, was the most eloquent and most silent of men.
  • * Milton
  • This new-created world, whereof in hell / Fame is not silent .
  • Keeping at rest; inactive; calm; undisturbed.
  • The wind is silent .
    (Sir Walter Raleigh)
  • (pronunciation) Not pronounced; having no sound; quiescent.
  • The ''e'' is silent in ''fable''.
  • Having no effect; not operating; inefficient.
  • * Sir Walter Raleigh
  • Cause silent , virtueless, and dead.
  • (technology) Without audio capability.
  • The Magnavox Odyssey was a silent console.
  • Hidden, unseen.
  • a silent''' voter; a '''silent partner
  • Not implying significant modifications which would affect a peptide sequence.
  • Undiagnosed or undetected because of an absence of symptoms.
  • Synonyms

    * See also * dumb, mute, quiet, speechless, still, taciturn

    Derived terms

    * silent alarm * silent auction * silent barter * silent butler * silent disco * silent film * silent key * silent number * silent partner * silent majority * Silent Sam * silent service * silent treatment * silent vote


    (en noun)
  • (uncountable) That which is ; a time of silence.
  • :* The silent of the night. Shakespeare
  • A silent movie
  • * {{quote-news, year=2007, date=August 12, author=Woody Allen, title=The Man Who Asked Hard Questions, work=New York Times citation
  • , passage=All kinds, silents and talkies. }}




    * (l) * (l) * (l) * (l) * (l) ----




  • tight-lippedness, discretion, avoidance of saying too much
  • a silent and reserved nature
  • Quotations

    * 1890 , Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray : *:Basil's absurd fits of jealousy, his wild devotion, his extravagant panegyrics, his curious reticences , — he understood them all now, and he felt sorry. * 1897 , Bram Stoker, Dracula : *: You must not be angry with him, Art, because his very reticence means that all his brains are working for her good.(attention)


    * reserve, secrecy, taciturnity * bashfulness, demureness, diffidence, quietness, reservation, shyness, timidity


    * openness, talkativeness * loquaciousness, ostentation