silence


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blue wall of silence

An unspoken policy of concealment by police regarding the wrongdoing or illicit activity of other officers. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I respect the need for the police, but it's hard to trust them completely when so many stories of the blue wall of silence come to light.
See also: blue, of, silence, wall

blue code of silence

An unspoken policy of concealment by police regarding the wrongdoing or illicit activity of other officers. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I respect the need for the police, but it's hard to trust them completely when so many stories of the blue code of silence come to light.
See also: blue, code, of, silence

code of silence

The practice of not disclosing important or vital information by members of a group, as due to the threat of violence, reprisal, being branded as a traitor, or an inherent sense of honor. There are parts of the city where the code of silence is so strong that police don't even bother questioning the residents there.
See also: code, of, silence

conspiracy of silence

An agreement, either explicit or unspoken, among members of a group to keep secret certain information that, if exposed, could be damaging to the group, its interests, or its associates. Knowing that public knowledge of their imminent takeover by the rival company could jeopardize their continued employment thereafter, the board of directors agreed to a strict conspiracy of silence until the deal was finalized. The doctors in the hospital were engaged in a tacit conspiracy of silence, as each knew that bringing to light their colleague's misbehavior could end up damaging their own reputations in the process.
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

deafening silence

A conspicuous and striking lack of noise or sound. Jim's proposal was met with deafening silence at the meeting. After living in the city all my life, I can't stand the deafening silence of the countryside.
See also: silence

silence means consent

If you do not voice your objection to something, then it is assumed that you support it. A: "Why did you think I would agree to punishing a student so harshly?" B: "Well, you didn't say anything when we originally discussed this plan! Silence means consent." Make sure to speak up when you disagree with something, because, for many people, silence means consent.
See also: consent, mean, silence

speech is silver, but silence is golden

An expression that values silence over speech. I would be careful around all those reporters if I were you. Remember: speech is silver, but silence is golden.
See also: but, golden, silence, speech

speech is silver, silence is gold

An expression that values silence over speech. I would be careful around all those reporters if I were you. Remember: speech is silver, silence is gold.
See also: gold, silence, speech

speech is silver, silence is golden

An expression that values silence over speech. I would be careful around all those reporters if I were you. Remember: speech is silver, silence is golden.
See also: golden, silence, speech

wall of silence

1. An unspoken policy of concealment by police regarding the wrongdoing or illicit activity of other officers. A variation on the phrase "blue wall of silence." I respect police, but it's hard to trust them completely when so many stories of the wall of silence come to light.
2. Constant silence, often due to unhappiness or secrecy. Ever since my husband found out that I lied to him, there's been a wall of silence between us. Mom can never know that I broke her vase, OK? There's a wall of silence, starting now.
See also: of, silence, wall

break (one's) silence

To voice one's opinion or comment on something after initially avoiding doing so. It took days, but the mayor has finally broken his silence on the scandal at city hall.
See also: break, silence

break silence

To address or publicize an issue that is not garnering attention. Our station broke silence on the mayor's scandal, and now even national news outlets are covering it!
See also: break, silence

break the silence

1. To make noise when it is otherwise silent. OK, I'll break the silence—what are we going to do to fix this problem? I was enjoying a jog when that car horn broke the silence and startled me.
2. To voice an opinion or comment on something after initially avoiding doing so. It took days, but the mayor has finally broken the silence on the scandal at city hall.
See also: break, silence

a pregnant silence

An overly long pause in speech that indicates a lot of meaning or significance. She gave a pregnant silence just before announcing the winner to build dramatic tension. While recounting his story, Jake gave a pregnant silence before naming the person who committed the crime, leading me to wonder whether he was telling the truth.
See also: pregnant, silence

a pregnant pause

An overly long pause in speech that indicates a lot of meaning or significance. She gave a pregnant pause just before announcing the winner to build dramatic tension. While recounting his story, Jake gave a pregnant pause before naming the person who committed the crime, leading me to wonder whether he was telling the truth.
See also: pause, pregnant

heavy silence

A very tense, awkward, or uncomfortable silence among a group of people. There was a heavy silence at the table after Dad's outburst at Mom. I tried to break the heavy silence with a joke, but no one was in the mood for laughing.
See also: heavy, silence

heavy atmosphere

A very tense, awkward, or uncomfortable atmosphere among a group of people. There was a heavy atmosphere at the table after Dad's outburst at Mom. I tried to break the heavy atmosphere with a joke, but no one was in the mood for laughing.
See also: atmosphere, heavy

silence is golden

It is wise or desirable to be silent or to avoid speaking. I would be careful around all those reporters if I were you. Remember, silence is golden. As someone with two small children, I can appreciate the fact that silence is golden.
See also: golden, silence

break silence

to give information about a topic that no one was mentioning or discussing. The press finally broke silence on the question of the plagiarized editorial.
See also: break, silence

break the silence

to make a noise interrupting a period of silence. The wind broke the silence by blowing the door closed.
See also: break, silence

reduce someone to silence

to cause someone to be silent. The rebuke reduced him to silenceat last. Mary was reduced to silence by Jane's comments.
See also: reduce, silence

Silence gives consent.

Prov. If you do not object to what someone says or does, you can be assumed to agree with or condone it. Jill: What did Fred say when you told him we were thinking about leaving the office early? Jane: He didn't say anything. Jill: Then he must not mind if we go. Silence gives consent.
See also: consent, give, silence

Silence is golden.

Prov. Silence is often good or desirable. Jerry has two teenage children who listen to music using their headphones all day. He knows that silence is golden. Hush! Silence is golden.
See also: golden, silence

conspiracy of silence

A tacit or explicit agreement to keep something secret. For example, In this state's medical society there is a conspiracy of silence regarding incompetent practitioners . This term was first used as a complaint about lack of attention, but today it more often refers to remaining silent about something unfavorable or criminal. [Late 1800s]
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

silence is golden

Keeping one's mouth shut is a great virtue, as in Don't tell anyone else about it-silence is golden. Although this precise phrase was first recorded only in 1848, it is part of a much older proverb, "Speech is silver and silence is golden."
See also: golden, silence

a conspiracy of silence

If there is a conspiracy of silence, people who know about something have agreed that they will not tell anyone about it. Detectives have run into a conspiracy of silence in the close communities here.
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

a conspiracy of silence

an agreement to say nothing about an issue that should be generally known.
This expression appears to have originated with the French philosopher Auguste Comte ( 1798–1857 ).
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

a pregnant pause (or silence)

a pause or silence that is laden with meaning or significance.
See also: pause, pregnant

silence is golden

it's often wise to say nothing. proverb
The fuller form of the saying is speech is silver, but silence is golden .
See also: golden, silence

a conˌspiracy of ˈsilence

an agreement not to talk publicly about something which should not remain secret: As no one was ever convicted of the murders, it is widely believed that there may have been a conspiracy of silence maintained by the victims’ friends and families.
See also: conspiracy, of, silence

a heavy ˈsilence/ˈatmosphere

a situation when people do not say anything, but feel embarrassed or uncomfortable: There was a heavy silence for a few minutes before anybody spoke.

a pregnant ˈpause/ˈsilence

a pause/silence in which everyone is waiting or listening for something, or a moment of silence which is full of meaning: There was a pregnant pause while everyone waited to hear what she had to say.
See also: pause, pregnant, silence

ˌsilence is ˈgolden

(saying) it is sometimes best not to say anything in a difficult or dangerous situation
The complete saying is ‘speech is silver, silence is golden’.
See also: golden, silence

deafening silence

A silence or lack of response that reveals something significant, such as disapproval or a lack of enthusiasm.
See also: silence
References in periodicals archive ?
Half visual essay, half verbal investigation, Silence is thoughtful and informative as well as contemplative and restorative.
Diarmaid MacCulloch portrays the history of silence amongst God's faithful.
In the purchase, Silence Therapeutics bought 6,006,359 common shares of Arrowhead.
But imagine how it must have been for a young man, not a hero just a nice chap, standing in a trench when that silence came to the Western Front on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Many representations of silence outside of the criminal justice process illuminate two important aspects of the failure to protect it in interrogations.
Despite the important role of organizational factors in forming individual-level behaviors, most of the previous researchers on silence have focused on the individual-level factors, such as job satisfaction, organizational identification (Knoll & van Dick, 2012), trust in the organization, trust in leadership, and trust in the supervisor (Nikolaou, Vakola, & Bourantas, 2011) as the determinants of silence, although some researchers (e.
At least, that's how they were before my perspective on silence changed.
People who live in cities almost never experience silence.
The spiritual practice of silence is simple: you shut up.
Pinder & Harlos define organizational silence as expression of staff failed to assess the behavioral, cognitive and effective in organization situations.
For a full two minutes they take their own paths across the floor, stepping in unison--and silence.
Surely Diarmaid MacCulloch appreciates the irony that after publishing the gargantuan Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, the next theme he turns his considerable scholarly attention to is silence.
Silence and the silenced; interdisciplinary perspectives.
Published on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 09:38 PNN Kuwait News Agency The European Parliament has rejected a call from a far right politician for a minute of silence in the memory for ex Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, reports .
LET'S have a minute's silence for the minute's silence.