30 Idioms for Silence

In this linguistic realm, silence becomes a canvas painted with expressions that are as diverse as the situations they describe. Join me as we explore the art of silence through colloquial and conversational idioms that add a touch of spice to everyday communication.

30 idioms for silence

Idioms for Silence

Silence is Golden:

Meaning: Keeping quiet or silent is often the wisest course of action.

In a Sentence: When faced with sensitive matters, sometimes silence is golden, letting the gravity of the situation speak for itself.

Mum’s the Word:

Meaning: To keep quiet or silent, especially about a secret.

In a Sentence: I can’t share the surprise party details with you; mum’s the word until the big day!

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Meaning: When someone is unable to speak or is unusually quiet.

In a Sentence: After being caught in the act, all he could do was stare – cat got your tongue?

Zip Your Lip:

Meaning: A direct command to be silent.

In a Sentence: The teacher gave a stern look to the students and said, “Zip your lip during the exam!”

Hold Your Tongue:

Meaning: Similar to “zip your lip,” a command to refrain from speaking.

In a Sentence: Before she said something she’d regret, her friend advised, “Hold your tongue for a moment.”

Button Your Lip:

Meaning: A more forceful way of telling someone to be quiet.

In a Sentence: His annoyance grew, and he exclaimed, “That’s enough! Button your lip already!”

Keep It Under Wraps:

Meaning: To keep something secret or hidden.

In a Sentence: The project’s success depends on us; let’s keep it under wraps until the official announcement.

Bite Your Tongue:

Meaning: To refrain from speaking to avoid saying something offensive.

In a Sentence: When the controversial topic arose, she had to bite her tongue to maintain harmony at the family dinner.

Cut the Chatter:

Meaning: A direct request to stop talking or making noise.

In a Sentence: In the library, the librarian had to remind everyone to cut the chatter and maintain a quiet atmosphere.

Speechless as a Fish:

Meaning: Being unable to speak or express oneself.

In a Sentence: The unexpected news left her speechless as a fish, unable to form coherent words.

Clam Up:

Meaning: To suddenly stop talking or refuse to speak.

In a Sentence: As soon as the detective entered, the suspect decided to clam up and not answer any questions.

Hush-Hush:

Meaning: Kept secret or confidential.

In a Sentence: The new product launch is still hush-hush; details will be revealed at the upcoming conference.

Sound of Silence:

Meaning: A profound quietness or lack of noise.

In a Sentence: The sound of silence in the countryside at night is a serene and peaceful experience.

Dead Air:

Meaning: Complete silence, often used in broadcasting.

In a Sentence: The radio station experienced a few seconds of dead air before the next song started playing.

Put a Sock in It:

Meaning: An informal way of telling someone to be quiet.

In a Sentence: His constant complaints were getting on everyone’s nerves, and someone finally said, “Put a sock in it!”

Speak of the Devil:

Meaning: When a person arrives just as they are being talked about.

In a Sentence: As Mary was gossiping about her colleague, he walked in – speak of the devil!

Silent as the Grave:

Meaning: Utterly silent and still.

In a Sentence: The courtroom fell silent as the judge entered, everyone as silent as the grave.

Mum’s the Saying:

Meaning: Similar to “mum’s the word,” emphasizing the importance of keeping quiet.

In a Sentence: When it comes to office politics, mum’s the saying – don’t get involved.

Tight-Lipped:

Meaning: Someone who does not easily reveal information.

In a Sentence: Even under intense questioning, the witness remained tight-lipped about the incident.

Can’t Hear a Pin Drop:

Meaning: An atmosphere of complete silence.

In a Sentence: During the intense performance, you could hear a pin drop in the theater.

Deafening Silence:

Meaning: An extremely loud and noticeable silence.

In a Sentence: After the announcement, there was a deafening silence in the room, everyone processing the news.

Keep Mum:

Meaning: To keep a secret or stay silent.

In a Sentence: They decided to keep mum about the surprise birthday gift to maintain the element of surprise.

Hold Your Horses:

Meaning: To wait or be patient.

In a Sentence: Before jumping to conclusions, let’s hold our horses and gather all the facts.

Quiet as a Mouse:

Meaning: Very quiet and discreet.

In a Sentence: The burglar moved through the house, quiet as a mouse, avoiding detection.

Mum’s the Rose:

Meaning: Similar to “mum’s the word,” with a poetic touch.

In a Sentence: In matters of the heart, mum’s the rose – keep your feelings hidden.

Keep a Low Profile:

Meaning: To avoid attracting attention.

In a Sentence: After the controversy, he decided to keep a low profile and stay out of the public eye.

Mum’s the Melody:

Meaning: Similar to “mum’s the word,” with a musical twist.

In a Sentence: In the world of espionage, mum’s the melody – keep the secrets harmonious and hidden.

Zipped Tight:

Meaning: Completely closed or sealed, often referring to one’s lips.

In a Sentence: Before the surprise announcement, everyone’s lips were zipped tight, anticipation filling the air.

Keep Stumm:

Meaning: An expression similar to “keep mum,” often used in German.

In a Sentence: When discussing classified information, it’s essential to keep stumm and avoid leaks.

Wordless as a Stone:

Meaning: Unable to speak or express oneself.

In a Sentence: Confronted with the heartbreaking news, she sat wordless as a stone, absorbing the reality.

Summary

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Silence is GoldenWisest to remain silentIn sensitive matters, silence is golden, letting the gravity of the situation speak for itself.
Mum’s the WordKeep quiet, especially about a secretCan’t share the surprise party details with you; mum’s the word until the big day!
Cat Got Your Tongue?Unable to speak or unusually quietAfter being caught in the act, all he could do was stare – cat got your tongue?
Zip Your LipDirect command to be silentThe teacher gave a stern look to the students and said, “Zip your lip during the exam!”
Hold Your TongueCommand to refrain from speakingBefore she said something she’d regret, her friend advised, “Hold your tongue for a moment.”
Button Your LipForceful way of telling someone to be quietHis annoyance grew, and he exclaimed, “That’s enough! Button your lip already!”
Keep It Under WrapsKeep something secret or hiddenThe project’s success depends on us; let’s keep it under wraps until the official announcement.
Bite Your TongueRefrain from speaking to avoid saying something offensiveWhen the controversial topic arose, she had to bite her tongue to maintain harmony at the family dinner.
Cut the ChatterDirect request to stop talking or making noiseIn the library, the librarian had to remind everyone to cut the chatter and maintain a quiet atmosphere.
Speechless as a FishUnable to speak or express oneselfThe unexpected news left her speechless as a fish, unable to form coherent words.
Clam UpSuddenly stop talking or refuse to speakAs soon as the detective entered, the suspect decided to clam up and not answer any questions.
Hush-HushKept secret or confidentialThe new product launch is still hush-hush; details will be revealed at the upcoming conference.
Sound of SilenceProfound quietness or lack of noiseThe sound of silence in the countryside at night is a serene and peaceful experience.
Dead AirComplete silence, often used in broadcastingThe radio station experienced a few seconds of dead air before the next song started playing.
Put a Sock in ItInformal way of telling someone to be quietHis constant complaints were getting on everyone’s nerves, and someone finally said, “Put a sock in it!”
Speak of the DevilPerson arrives just as they are being talked aboutAs Mary was gossiping about her colleague, he walked in – speak of the devil!
Silent as the GraveUtterly silent and stillThe courtroom fell silent as the judge entered, everyone as silent as the grave.
Mum’s the SayingEmphasizing the importance of keeping quietWhen it comes to office politics, mum’s the saying – don’t get involved.
Tight-LippedSomeone who does not easily reveal informationEven under intense questioning, the witness remained tight-lipped about the incident.
Can’t Hear a Pin DropAtmosphere of complete silenceDuring the intense performance, you could hear a pin drop in the theater.
Deafening SilenceExtremely loud and noticeable silenceAfter the announcement, there was a deafening silence in the room, everyone processing the news.
Keep MumKeep a secret or stay silentThey decided to keep mum about the surprise birthday gift to maintain the element of surprise.
Hold Your HorsesWait or be patientBefore jumping to conclusions, let’s hold our horses and gather all the facts.
Quiet as a MouseVery quiet and discreetThe burglar moved through the house, quiet as a mouse, avoiding detection.
Mum’s the RoseSimilar to “mum’s the word,” with a poetic touchIn matters of the heart, mum’s the rose – keep your feelings hidden.
Keep a Low ProfileAvoid attracting attentionAfter the controversy, he decided to keep a low profile and stay out of the public eye.
Mum’s the MelodySimilar to “mum’s the word,” with a musical twistIn the world of espionage, mum’s the melody – keep the secrets harmonious and hidden.
Zipped TightCompletely closed or sealed, often referring to one’s lipsBefore the surprise announcement, everyone’s lips were zipped tight, anticipation filling the air.
Keep StummSimilar to “keep mum,” often used in GermanWhen discussing classified information, it’s essential to keep stumm and avoid leaks.
Wordless as a StoneUnable to speak or express oneselfConfronted with the heartbreaking news, she sat wordless as a stone, absorbing the reality.

Conclusion:

In the symphony of language, idioms for silence play a unique and essential role. From the golden wisdom of silence to the hush-hush secrets we keep, each expression adds a layer of richness to our conversations.

Scroll to Top