Definition of the silent treatment in US English:

the silent treatment


  • A stubborn refusal to talk to someone, especially after a recent argument or disagreement.

    • ‘As I write, he's giving me the silent treatment.’
    • ‘A Malton man and his wife were having problems and were giving each other the silent treatment.’
    • ‘I figure one of us should be mature and cancel the silent treatment before the end of the year.’
    • ‘Try something like, ‘I've noticed you give Jen the silent treatment when she comes over.’’
    • ‘She had ignored all of my phone calls last night, and I knew that today I would definitely receive the silent treatment.’
    • ‘I won't give people the silent treatment, but I'll give them the ‘one word response’ treatment until I can calm down enough to have a discussion, or even a fight about the situation at hand.’
    • ‘Although her father is not speaking to her and avoiding her calls, Olivia believes that he is too concerned about being the perfect father for him to give her the silent treatment for long.’
    • ‘Tell someone why you're angry instead of giving them the silent treatment.’
    • ‘He is infuriated and gives her the silent treatment all the way home, but she doesn't notice.’
    • ‘My moms been giving me the silent treatment since we fought, it's been days now and I have given her tons of apologies but she just seems to ignore me totally.’