Definition of shush in English:


Pronunciation /ʃʊʃ//ʃʌʃ/


  • Be quiet.

    ‘Shush! Do you want to wake everyone?’
    • ‘At one point, Harry giggles behind the camera and Diana says, ‘Harry shush!’’
    • ‘She glared at the well-built wrestler and decided against hurting him, ‘Oh shush!’’
    • ‘Rolling her eyes impatiently, ‘Oh, shush, will you!;’


  • 1An utterance of ‘shush’

    ‘the thumps were followed by shushes from the aunts’
    • ‘Ryan yelled, there were various shushes from the others.’
    • ‘One of the students whispered to his friends, and a burst of laughter from them caused the teachers to glare at them, accompanied by a few shushes.’
    • ‘A simple hushed apology of ‘excuse me’ or ‘sorry’ when someone needed to pass by an audience member was met by shushes and evil stares.’
  • 2A soft swishing or rustling sound.

    ‘the ‘shush, shush, shush’ of a broom on the tent's groundsheet’
    • ‘There were a few shushes from the people around us and quickly shushed up, diverting out attention back to the movie.’
    • ‘Yallac followed suit, lying on her back and gazing up at the endless expanse of stars, listening to the shushing of the water on the cliffs.’


  • 1with object Tell or signal (someone) to be silent.

    ‘she shushed him with a wave’
    • ‘Mika shushed him and did the quiet finger gesture.’
    • ‘Allie shushed her aunt and blushed at the same time.’
    • ‘All at once, Kathy became quiet and shushed him, too.’
    • ‘After The Beatles' first set he shushes the audience and says ‘Now be quiet.’’
    • ‘The other two shushed him quickly, then they shut the door behind them.’
    • ‘They started to shush me and told me to be quiet or I wouldn't hear her crying.’
    • ‘She shushed him and signalled for him to move back to the other side of the battlements.’
    • ‘Lily started to speak but Joe raised one finger to shush her.’
    • ‘I opened my mouth to berate him, but he shushed me.’
    • ‘The woman who was my mother held me and tried to shush me.’
    • ‘She stated, holding a finger up to her lips as if shushing him.’
    • ‘I scrambled to shush her, but this is my sister's regular speaking voice. She sat down and looked around.’
    • ‘My three year-old cousin on the other hand, does not appreciate the humour or my laughing, so she promptly shushes me and returns to her trace-like state of staring at the TV.’
    • ‘I'm quite bad at regulating my voice, as many people who've publicly shushed me can attest.’
    • ‘A woman answered giggling and shushing someone to silence before speaking.’
    • ‘As I chatted to Paul over a glass of bubbly, we were shushed by a grumpy old woman.’
    • ‘One of the men stepped forward, holding up one hand, shushing his buddies.’
    • ‘I put a finger to my lips, shushing her immediately.’
    • ‘Pixie shushes me and says ‘I'm worried about that noise.’’
    • ‘Instead I lifted a single finger at him as if to shush him.’
    quieten, quiet, hush, still
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Become or remain silent.
      ‘Beth told her to shush’
      • ‘Now shush and plug in the hair dryer - I've got some hair to toss!’
      • ‘I have tried glaring and have even gone on to shush - but with barely increased effect.’
      • ‘‘Oh shush,’ his mother scolded him before pointing at his food.’
      • ‘I'm singing out loud and the kids are telling me to shush.’
      • ‘Riggs cut her off with a shushing, knowing very well that it was impossible to make his own voice louder than hers, considering the state of things.’
      • ‘The maid smirked, ‘I know you don't care about what they think at all, so shush.’’
      • ‘The women are whispering and the men shushing and telling everyone to sit down - they've never seen a drama like this before.’
      • ‘The doormen actually intercept approaching revellers in the street outside the club, asking them to shush.’
      • ‘Thelma Lou runs to him, holds him, shushes in his ear.’
      • ‘‘Oh shush,’ Ana said throwing her brush at her and attaching the other earring.’
      • ‘There is a drunk dyke heckler whom everyone shushes.’
      • ‘My generation didn't have to calm our babies after feeding; we nursed them to sleep, which takes less time than bouncing, wrapping, shushing, and pacifying.’
      • ‘There were swarms of people there, too, all loud and obnoxious despite the librarian's furious shushing, but I'd learned long ago to ignore all of that.’
      • ‘My inner voice, still remained a loud, enthusiastic, untrained child, frequently shushed and disciplined to sit still.’
      • ‘I was told to shush and I was being punched in the face.’
      • ‘If word got out about what's to be found at Bay Area libraries, there'd be a whole lot more shushing going on.’
      • ‘The display would likely be greeted by pandemonium, emphatic shushing, or shocked silence.’
      fall silent, stop talking, break off, become quiet, quieten down, grow silent, hold one's tongue
      View synonyms
  • 2no object, usually with adverbial of direction Move with or make a soft swishing or rustling sound.

    ‘I stood to watch a big liner shushing slowly past’
    ‘she could hear the gentle shushing of the waves’
    • ‘There were hardly any waves just a gentle shushing on the pebbles of the beach.’
    • ‘Dining on the beach, surf shushing over the nearby reef, my biggest dilemma is which of five lobster menu options to select.’
    • ‘I grinned as I lay back while the sleigh shushed through the countryside: pity they weren't bigger.’
    • ‘The only noise besides the birds or the ice crackling along the streambeds is the shushing sound of my feet across the snow.’
    • ‘I heard footsteps downstairs on the first floor and it sounded like Gorey speaking in a shushed sort of voice.’
    • ‘The battle hits all of Hollywood's cues for what warfare is supposed to look and sound like, including tracers, shushing, exploding shells and gore.’
    • ‘The wind in the trees, waves shushing on the shore, birdsong or the rustle of long grass.’
    • ‘There's a field above my house where the only sounds are eagles above and wind shushing through grass and pine below.’
    • ‘A few cars passed through the lonely yellow of the street lights, their tires making soft shushing sounds on the wet pavement.’
    • ‘It annoyed Nyte, keeping him up with the shushing of the wind in the nearby aspens and the constant patter-patter of rain on the roof.’


1920s: imitative.