27 Idioms for Quiet: A Hush-Hush


When it comes to describing silence or quietness, idioms play a pivotal role. In this article, we’ll explore a collection of idioms related to the concept of “quiet.”

These idioms allow us to express moments of silence, secrecy, or hushed tones in a more colorful and nuanced manner.

Quiet is like a peaceful pond, where the stillness of the water mirrors the tranquility of the moment. For more comparisons to describe quiet, you can visit this link: Similes for quiet. And for a variety of metaphors related to quietness, you can explore this link: Metaphors for quiet.

What is an idiom for quiet?

Idioms related to quietness capture various aspects of silence, secrecy, or maintaining a low profile. They enable us to describe situations, behaviors, or moments of hushed communication with vivid and memorable phrases.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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Below, we’ll explore a list of these idioms, providing their meanings and examples to help you understand how to use them effectively.

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Keep mumTo remain silent or keep a secret.When asked about her surprise party, she decided to keep mum to avoid spoiling the surprise.
Zip itA direct command to stop talking or be quiet.The teacher had to sternly tell the students to zip it during the exam.
Hush-hushSomething kept secret or concealed from the public.The details of the project were hush-hush until the official announcement.
Mum’s the wordA way of saying that one should keep silent about something.When it came to their surprise anniversary gift, mum’s the word; he didn’t want his wife to find out.
Silent as the graveUtterly quiet or completely silent.The library was silent as the grave, with everyone engrossed in their books.
Button your lipA direct and informal way of telling someone to be quiet.During the important meeting, he had to remind his talkative colleague to button her lip.
Cat got your tongue?A playful way to ask someone why they’re not speaking or being unusually quiet.When he suddenly stopped talking, his friend asked, “Cat got your tongue?”
Hold your peaceA request or instruction to remain silent, often used in formal settings like weddings.The officiant asked if anyone had objections, and the room fell silent as everyone held their peace.
Put a sock in itAn informal and somewhat rude way to tell someone to stop talking or be quiet.The noisy neighbors were so disruptive that she finally shouted, “Put a sock in it!”
Keep it on the down-lowTo keep something secret or not widely known.They decided to keep their relationship on the down-low until they were ready to announce it.
Clam upTo suddenly become silent or refuse to talk, often due to discomfort or secrecy.Whenever she asked about his past, he would clam up and change the subject.
Speak softly and carry a big stickTo adopt a peaceful and non-confrontational demeanor while being prepared to use force or authority if necessary.As a negotiator, his motto was to speak softly and carry a big stick to resolve conflicts peacefully.
Keep a low profileTo avoid attracting attention or to stay inconspicuous.After the scandal, the celebrity decided to keep a low profile and stay out of the public eye.
Tight-lippedReferring to someone who is unwilling to reveal information or speak openly.The detective remained tight-lipped about the details of the ongoing investigation.
Mum as a mouseExtremely quiet or silent, like a mouse.During the nature hike, the children were as mum as mice, not wanting to scare away the wildlife.
Don’t breathe a wordAn instruction not to reveal a secret or confidential information.He entrusted her with the surprise party plans and told her not to breathe a word to anyone.
Keep your trap shutAn informal and somewhat impolite way to tell someone to be quiet or stop talking.When she realized she was gossiping, her friend bluntly told her to keep her trap shut.
Not a peepAbsolute silence or not a sound.During the power outage, there wasn’t a peep to be heard in the darkened house.
Dead silentCompletely devoid of sound or noise.The forest at night was so dead silent that it was almost eerie.
Soundless as a ghostMoving or acting silently and stealthily, like a ghost.The ninja moved soundless as a ghost, making no noise as he advanced.
Tongue-tiedUnable to speak due to nervousness or shyness.In front of the large audience, she became tongue-tied and couldn’t deliver her speech.
Hold your tongueA direct command to stop talking or refrain from saying something.After making an inappropriate comment, her friend told her to hold her tongue.
Zip your mouthA straightforward command to be quiet and stop talking.The librarian had to remind the noisy children to zip their mouths while in the library.
Speak in hushed tonesTo speak quietly and discreetly, often when discussing sensitive topics.The colleagues spoke in hushed tones about the impending layoffs, not wanting others to overhear.
Quiet as a church mouseExtremely quiet or silent, as quiet as a mouse in a peaceful church setting.During the solemn ceremony, the attendees were as quiet as church mice.
In the cone of silenceReferring to a situation where secrecy and confidentiality are emphasized.The confidential meeting took place in the cone of silence, with strict security measures.
Noiseless as a whisperCompletely silent, as quiet as a soft whisper.The snowfall was noiseless as a whisper, covering the city in a blanket of white.
idioms for quiet

Idioms for Quiet

1. Keep mum

Meaning: To remain silent or keep a secret.

In a Sentence: When asked about her surprise party, she decided to keep mum to avoid spoiling the surprise.

2. Zip it

Meaning: A direct command to stop talking or be quiet.

In a Sentence: The teacher had to sternly tell the students to zip it during the exam.

3. Hush-hush

Meaning: Something kept secret or concealed from the public.

In a Sentence: The details of the project were hush-hush until the official announcement.

4. Mum’s the word

Meaning: A way of saying that one should keep silent about something.

In a Sentence: When it came to their surprise anniversary gift, mum’s the word; he didn’t want his wife to find out.

5. Silent as the grave

Meaning: Utterly quiet or completely silent.

In a Sentence: The library was silent as the grave, with everyone engrossed in their books.

6. Button your lip

Meaning: A direct and informal way of telling someone to be quiet.

In a Sentence: During the important meeting, he had to remind his talkative colleague to button her lip.

7. Cat got your tongue?

Meaning: A playful way to ask someone why they’re not speaking or being unusually quiet.

In a Sentence: When he suddenly stopped talking, his friend asked, “Cat got your tongue?”

8. Hold your peace

Meaning: A request or instruction to remain silent, often used in formal settings like weddings.

In a Sentence: The officiant asked if anyone had objections, and the room fell silent as everyone held their peace.

9. Put a sock in it

Meaning: An informal and somewhat rude way to tell someone to stop talking or be quiet.

In a Sentence: The noisy neighbors were so disruptive that she finally shouted, “Put a sock in it!”

10. Keep it on the down-low

Meaning: To keep something secret or not widely known.

In a Sentence: They decided to keep their relationship on the down-low until they were ready to announce it.

11. Clam up

Meaning: To suddenly become silent or refuse to talk, often due to discomfort or secrecy.

In a Sentence: Whenever she asked about his past, he would clam up and change the subject.

12. Speak softly and carry a big stick

Meaning: To adopt a peaceful and non-confrontational demeanor while being prepared to use force or authority if necessary.

In a Sentence: As a negotiator, his motto was to speak softly and carry a big stick to resolve conflicts peacefully.

13. Keep a low profile

Meaning: To avoid attracting attention or to stay inconspicuous.

In a Sentence: After the scandal, the celebrity decided to keep a low profile and stay out of the public eye.

14. Tight-lipped

Meaning: Referring to someone who is unwilling to reveal information or speak openly.

In a Sentence: The detective remained tight-lipped about the details of the ongoing investigation.

15. Mum as a mouse

Meaning: Extremely quiet or silent, like a mouse.

In a Sentence: During the nature hike, the children were as mum as mice, not wanting to scare away the wildlife.

16. Don’t breathe a word

Meaning: An instruction not to reveal a secret or confidential information.

In a Sentence: He entrusted her with the surprise party plans and told her not to breathe a word to anyone.

17. Keep your trap shut

Meaning: An informal and somewhat impolite way to tell someone to be quiet or stop talking.

In a Sentence: When she realized she was gossiping, her friend bluntly told her to keep her trap shut.

18. Not a peep

Meaning: Absolute silence or not a sound.

In a Sentence: During the power outage, there wasn’t a peep to be heard in the darkened house.

19. Dead silent

Meaning: Completely devoid of sound or noise.

In a Sentence: The forest at night was so dead silent that it was almost eerie.

20. Soundless as a ghost

Meaning: Moving or acting silently and stealthily, like a ghost.

In a Sentence: The ninja moved soundless as a ghost, making no noise as he advanced.

21. Tongue-tied

Meaning: Unable to speak due to nervousness or shyness.

In a Sentence: In front of the large audience, she became tongue-tied and couldn’t deliver her speech.

22. Hold your tongue

Meaning: A direct command to stop talking or refrain from saying something.

In a Sentence: After making an inappropriate comment, her friend told her to hold her tongue.

23. Zip your mouth

Meaning: A straightforward command to be quiet and stop talking.

In a Sentence: The librarian had to remind the noisy children to zip their mouths while in the library.

24. Speak in hushed tones

Meaning: To speak quietly and discreetly, often when discussing sensitive topics.

In a Sentence: The colleagues spoke in hushed tones about the impending layoffs, not wanting others to overhear.

25. Quiet as a church mouse

Meaning: Extremely quiet or silent, as quiet as a mouse in a peaceful church setting.

In a Sentence: During the solemn ceremony, the attendees were as quiet as church mice.

26. In the cone of silence

Meaning: Referring to a situation where secrecy and confidentiality are emphasized.

In a Sentence: The confidential meeting took place in the cone of silence, with strict security measures.

27. Noiseless as a whisper

Meaning: Completely silent, as quiet as a soft whisper.

In a Sentence: The snowfall was noiseless as a whisper, covering the city in a blanket of white.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 11:
Question: What does the expression “Dead silent” mean?

  • a) Filled with excitement
  • b) Completely devoid of sound or noise
  • c) Full of life

Quiz 12:
Question: If someone is “Soundless as a ghost,” how are they moving or acting?

  • a) Very loudly
  • b) Silently and stealthily
  • c) Making strange noises

Quiz 13:
Question: What does the idiom “Quiet as a church mouse” imply?

  • a) Being noisy in a church
  • b) Extremely quiet or silent, like a mouse in a peaceful church setting
  • c) Talking loudly in a church

Quiz 14:
Question: When should you “Keep your trap shut”?

  • a) During a comedy show
  • b) When you want to share a secret
  • c) To be quiet or stop talking

Quiz 15:
Question: What does “Not a peep” mean?

  • a) A loud noise
  • b) Absolute silence or not a sound
  • c) A cheerful greeting

Quiz 16:
Question: What is the meaning of “In the cone of silence”?

  • a) A noisy environment
  • b) Communicating openly
  • c) Referring to a situation where secrecy and confidentiality are emphasized

Quiz 17:
Question: When someone tells you to “Hold your tongue,” what are they asking you to do?

  • a) Stick out your tongue
  • b) Speak louder
  • c) Refrain from saying something

Quiz 18:
Question: What does “Speak softly and carry a big stick” mean?

  • a) Speak loudly and carry a large stick
  • b) Be aggressive in speech and action
  • c) Adopt a peaceful demeanor while being prepared for assertiveness if needed

Quiz 19:
Question: What does “Put a sock in it” mean?

  • a) Buy more socks
  • b) Sing loudly
  • c) Be quiet or stop talking

Quiz 20:
Question: If you’re asked to “Mum’s the word,” what should you do?

  • a) Speak loudly
  • b) Share a secret
  • c) Keep silent and not reveal anything

Answers:

  1. b) Completely devoid of sound or noise
  2. b) Silently and stealthily
  3. b) Extremely quiet or silent, like a mouse in a peaceful church setting
  4. c) To be quiet or stop talking
  5. b) Absolute silence or not a sound
  6. c) Referring to a situation where secrecy and confidentiality are emphasized
  7. c) Refrain from saying something
  8. c) Adopt a peaceful demeanor while being prepared for assertiveness if needed
  9. c) Be quiet or stop talking
  10. c) Keep silent and not reveal anything

Conclusion

These idioms related to quietness and silence offer a rich tapestry of expressions to describe moments of hush, secrecy, and tranquility. By incorporating these idiomatic phrases into your language, you can add depth and nuance to your communication.

Whether you’re discussing discreet matters, emphasizing silence, or asking someone to be quiet, these idioms provide a creative and engaging way to express yourself.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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