One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1British A device fixed to the exhaust of a motor vehicle to reduce engine noise.North American term muffler (sense 2)
- ‘One day between Collooney and Ballisodare, a driver of McGowan's lost the exhaust silencer from the engine in a flood.’
- ‘In the future, as noise pollution regulations become even stricter, we may see exhaust systems that use active noise-cancelling silencers.’
- ‘Besides all the traditional ways to cut noise including hard and soft foam, dash panel silencers and rear wheel-house sandwich panel, Toyota developed two new ways to help reduce noise inside the car.’
- ‘On Tuesday, the traffic police and the Transport Department plan to conduct joint inspection of vehicles that emit excess smoke, produce more noise and have defective silencers, headlamps and tail lamps.’
- ‘Its twin chamber exhaust system is made of stainless steel all the way to the silencers, before exhaust emissions leave the car through the four tailpipes.’
2A device used to reduce the sound of a gun as it is fired.
- ‘He opened fire, the silencers muffling the gunfire to a small puff noise.’
- ‘The gun probably had a silencer, as only blunt noises were heard.’
- ‘They were also charged with conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life, and possession of handguns, silencers and a machine gun.’
- ‘I hold the long metal cylinder in my left hand, my right clenched around the grip of the pistol and twist the silencer into place.’
- ‘In a routine check the customs officers found in his bag a Kalashnikov machine gun, two pistols with silencers, ammunition and a large number of special pens, which fire bullets.’
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