adj. qui·et·er, qui·et·est
1. Making or characterized by little or no noise: a quiet library; a quiet street; a quiet, well tuned engine.
a. Free of turmoil and agitation; calm: a quiet lake; a quiet place in the country.
b. Providing or allowing relaxation; restful; soothing: a quiet afternoon nap; a quiet tune on the flute.
3. Not showy or bright; subdued: a room decorated in quiet colors.
4. Restrained, as in style; understated: a quiet strength; a quiet life.
5. Out of public scrutiny; known or discussed by few: wanted to keep the incident quiet until after the election.
The quality or condition of being quiet: "A menacing quiet fills the empty streets" (Time).
v. qui·et·ed, qui·et·ing, qui·ets
1. To cause to become quiet: The teacher quieted the students.
2. To make (a title) secure by freeing from uncertainties or adverse claims as to the ownership.
To become quiet: The child wouldn't quiet down for me.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin quiētus, past participle of quiēscere, to rest; see kweiə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: quiet, silent, still1, noiseless, soundless
These adjectives mean marked by or making no sound, noise, or movement. Quiet suggests the absence of bustle, tumult, or agitation: "life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few" (John Ruskin).
Silent can suggest a profound hush: "I like the silent church before the service begins" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Still implies lack of motion or disturbance and often connotes rest or tranquility: "But after tempest ... / There came a day as still as heaven" (Tennyson).
Noiseless and soundless imply the absence of disturbing sound: "th' inaudible and noiseless foot of time" (Shakespeare). "the soundless footsteps on the grass" (John Galsworthy).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.