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Definition Essay: Silence

This essay defines the word “silence”. It is used in more than one context, and many people describe it in different terms. For example, an awkward silence is no more longer or shorter than a cold silence or an eerie silence. Here is a definition essay of the word “silence”.

The lack of audible sound

Its most basic definition is the lack of audible sound. If you cannot hear anything then you are in silence. This is a very basic definition of silence, as there are lots of contributing factors that are not mentioned. For example, if a person is deaf then there is not mercenarily silence in a room, even if that person cannot hear it. It is reminiscent of the Chinese saying about if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, then does it make a sound?

There is also the fact that some people may have better hearing than others and so be able to hear more sounds. That may make one person think it is quiet whilst others think there is noise. For example, a person who is younger may hear higher pitched noises. The mosquito crowd deterrent tool works on that idea in order to keep young people away since they can hear the annoying noise that older people cannot.

There is also the fact that people may use listening equipment. A person in a room may not hear any sounds, but a person with listening equipment may be able to hear sounds.

Your presence makes a sound

The loudest noise you make when stationary and inactive is the sound of your breath pumping in and out. In addition, there are also things such as your bowels moving and your heart beating. Such things may only be heard by people who are close to the person making the sound, but a sound still exists and so silence does not.

The presence of sound that is very low in intensity

If you wish to get more technical, then silence is the presence of sounds that have such a low intensity that people cannot generally hear them without help (or at all). To say that complete silence may exist is impossible in this universe (as it stands) because there is noise going on all over the universe. Sound cannot penetrate the vacuum of space, but even tiny vibrations in the earth make it impossible to completely rule out the idea of sound.

There is also the presence of sound that cannot be heard by humans. For example, a dog whistle may be heard by a dog and other animals, but cannot be heard by a human. This noise may be very loud in a room, and yet present itself as silence to the people in the room. They may describe the room as silent, but in a very real and obvious way they would be wrong. Still, in technical terms, nobody can truly eliminate the many forms of energy that cause sound to the point of creating a room without sound.


Technically, the closest you could get is if you dropped a room with a vacuum in it, down a long hole with is also in a vacuum, where it was aimed in the direction of the earth’s rotation of the sun, whilst adjusting for earth rotation and the pull of the earth’s poles. Suffice it to say, it would be a difficult task.

Contributors Bio

Contributor photo Lona Glenn
Los Angeles
Lona graduated from Los Angeles City College. While being a lecturer in several high school institutions Lona founded an online educational project Tutorsclass.Read more
Contributor photo Maria Castle
Davis, CA
I studied education and currently work as a tutor for school-age children. I've worked as a volunteer in many different international social projects and as a camp counselor every summer.Read more

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