Definition of hush in English:



  • 1 Make (someone) be quiet or stop talking.

    ‘he placed a finger before pursed lips to hush her’
    • ‘The size of the room and the scale of the monuments stuns and hushes the visitor.’
    • ‘You may not hush people or impinge their enjoyment in any manner.’
    • ‘When my grandpa first started talking about his own death, I hushed him and told him not to worry.’
    • ‘She automatically wrapped her arms around me and rubbed my back, hushing me in a soothing way.’
    • ‘The announcement hushed the crowd but soon the hubbub returned and the misfortune was forgotten.’
    • ‘She stroked me lightly on my head, hushing me and telling me how strong I had been.’
    • ‘Right as I opened my mouth to deny this, she put a finger to my lips, hushing me.’
    • ‘I trace a finger on his lips, hushing him soothingly.’
    • ‘I continued to listen and hushed you and your toddler banter, as we made our way to your school.’
    • ‘The headmaster of the school hushed the children, led a short prayer and started the assembly.’
    • ‘I hushed him, pressing my finger to his lips, and shook my head.’
    • ‘He hushed her, placing a finger to her lips, and it effectively quieted her.’
    • ‘He covered her mouth with his, hushing her lovingly.’
    • ‘She hushes him, saying he is too sick to talk, and begins to cry.’
    • ‘The people around the village began to take notice, hushing children and pushing them back into their small houses that were made out of patched mud and straw.’
    • ‘The priest hushes him with a frown: ‘Quiet, this is a church.’’
    • ‘The lady sitting next to me is hushing her crying baby by singing to her in what sounds like Russian.’
    • ‘My mom wrapped her arms around me cradling me, hushing me.’
    • ‘I slowly pulled away, then start to apologize but she placed her finger on my lips to hush me.’
    • ‘When he saw that I was about to speak, he hushed me with a finger to my lips.’
    silence, quieten, quieten down, shush
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    1. 1.1[no object] Be quiet.
      ‘Hush! Someone will hear you’
      • ‘The crowd hushed as it feared the opportunity had been lost; when the kick landed unerringly in the outstretched arms of the oncoming wing, joy was unrestrained.’
      • ‘The class hushed, keeping quiet, except for a few whispers here and there.’
      • ‘He looked to me and placed a finger over his lips, telling me to hush up and act like he wasn't there.’
      • ‘The lights go down, the audience hushes, and very quickly the few details that I had previously known of the film were all affirmed; it was about a bunch of queer volleyball players from Thailand.’
      • ‘But while leading figures in other sports often speak out on matters that affect their livelihoods, footballers hush up or are airbrushed into meaningless platitudes.’
      • ‘He's been owed a trophy for years, and if he gets one, maybe he can finally hush up about how comic actors are perennially overlooked.’
      • ‘The teacher looked at what they were looking and laughing at and told them to hush up so he could start class.’
      • ‘The whole courtroom hushed, obviously, when she read her statement.’
      • ‘She kept asking what was wrong, but her mother merely told her to hush up, and run faster.’
      • ‘Hugo scurries to take his seat (marked with a large cardboard notice reading ‘Reserved - Director’) and the audience hushes.’
      • ‘It was a silence so perfect and expectant that it made me think of the moment an audience hushes at the start of a concert, a moment in this case that stretched from dusk to dawn.’
      • ‘Yea yea… now hush up, I get to blow up a few things and we're still alive, this must be my day.’
      • ‘He started rocking back and forth slightly, trying to get me to hush and calm down.’
      • ‘‘Oh hush up,’ she said and rolled the sleeves back down, put the jacket back on and zipped it up.’
      • ‘She's probably trying to get her dear dad to hush up.’
      • ‘The rest of us were told to hush up with our petty concerns about foreign entanglements, airport privatization, and what have you.’
      fall silent, become silent, stop talking, quieten, quieten down
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    2. 1.2hush something up Suppress public mention of something.
      ‘management took steps to hush up the dangers’
      • ‘I knew they were introducing new charging structures, but they should be promoting these discounted schemes to the people they were designed for, not hushing them up on the bosses' orders.’
      • ‘He was killed by terrorists and the case was hushed up.’
      • ‘No names were released and the issue was hushed up.’
      • ‘These are painful realities and they do not become any less real or any less painful by hushing them up.’
      • ‘My thought now is that it was all a very long time ago, in a much more rigid social climate than today, and there is not much sense in trying to hush it up any more.’
      • ‘Tony asks me to hush it up, so I only call seven papers.’
      • ‘It was political in nature and yet it was hushed up.’
      • ‘No doubt the whole scandal would be hushed up and put out of our minds within the week.’
      • ‘If they'd spent the money, instead of hushing it up and keeping people in the dark, they'd still be around today.’
      • ‘Following an internal investigation, several soldiers received what amounted to a reprimand and the matter was hushed up.’
      keep secret, conceal, hide, suppress, cover up, keep dark, keep quiet about, not divulge, stifle, squash, whitewash, smother, obscure, veil, sweep under the carpet
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  • [in singular] A silence.

    ‘a hush descended over the crowd’
    • ‘When the lights dimmed shortly before 8 p.m., and the music rose, a hush descended upon the audience.’
    • ‘A hush settled over the crowd and she spoke into rapt silence, no longer being viewed as the one on trial.’
    • ‘By this point, a hush had fallen over the standing-room only bus crowd, mostly composed of giggling school kids and sullen working poor on their way to the salt mines.’
    • ‘A hush descends as the band announces the imminent entry of the first bull.’
    • ‘As a hush descended he looked visibly shaken.’
    • ‘There was a hush of silence as the maddening enchantments ceased, faces all around waiting for the next sign of what should happen, what confirmation to the miracle would be shown to them.’
    • ‘A nervous hush descended on the famous patch of turf as the sisters went through their warm-up routine.’
    • ‘‘Oh,’ said the Examining Magistrate as a hush fell upon the room.’
    • ‘The man waved his hand, ordering for silence and an immediate hush covered the room.’
    • ‘It was almost romantic here, with only bits of bird song and twigs crunching underfoot to break the hush.’
    • ‘The hush quietens to a silence; pins dropping would be like crashing cymbals.’
    • ‘Sara emerged at the top of the stairs and a hush fell over the room.’
    • ‘A palpable hush descended on the hundreds of spectators as they waited for the Bentley to stop and for the Queen to emerge to begin her walkabout.’
    • ‘A complete hush enveloped the Great Hall of St. James' Palace.’
    • ‘Silence descended on a village school when pupils held a sponsored hush for charity.’
    • ‘When the lights go down, the silence is deep and immediate, a reverential hush.’
    • ‘There was a hush and then a cry of joy from the guests: ‘Popcorn!’’
    • ‘Aside from the TV, a hush had descended upon the room.’
    • ‘A hush descended on the crowd as the village chief began to speak.’
    • ‘At the same time a complete hush fell, the birds stopped singing, cows and sheep became quiet and all of us, hundreds of individuals fell silent.’
    silence, quiet, quietness, quietude, soundlessness, noiselessness
    stillness, still, peacefulness, peace, calmness, calm, tranquillity
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Mid 16th century: back-formation from obsolete husht silent, hushed (taken to be a past participle), from an interjection husht quiet!.