One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1no object To become quiescent; to subside into.
2no object Grammar. Of a letter, especially a consonant: to become silent. Chiefly with reference to certain Semitic languages, especially Hebrew.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in William Lithgow (1582–c1645), traveller. From classical Latin quiēscere to come to rest, to be quiet from the base of quiēs rest, sleep, tranquility + -ēscere. Compare earlier quiescent, quiescence, quiescency.
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