grayscale photo of woman doing silent hand signPhoto Credit: Kristina Flour

Shhhhh! Ah, silence, often so coveted. Sometimes the opposite. Is silence golden? Or is it deadly? Here we present the best quotes and musings we could find on peace and quiet - joyous silence - for your entertainment. We hope you like them, and please share.

I drank the silence of God from a spring in the woods.

--Georg Trakl

Silence is true wisdom's best reply.


Awesome is loud but awe is quiet.

--Kevin McCloud

Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life.

--Khaled Hosseini

Sweet are the thoughts that savor of content: the quiet mind is richer than a crown.

--Graham Greene

Silence is best.

--John Hewson

Silence never betrays you.

--John Boyle O'Reilly

Silence your critics. Ignore your haters. Delete your cynics.

--Robin Sharma

We love the night and its quiet; and there is no night that we love so well as that on which the moon is coffined in clouds.

--Fitz-James O'Brien

Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

If you must make a noise, make it quietly.

--Oliver Hardy

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

--Will Rogers

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.

--Dion Boucicault

Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received.


Do you want to change the world? Then change yourself first. Do you want to change yourself? Then remain completely silent inside the silence-sea.

--Sri Chinmoy

Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence there would be no rhythm.

--Thomas Merton

It is always assumed by the empty-headed, who chatter about themselves for want of something better, that people who do not discuss their affairs openly must have something to hide.

--Honore de Balzac

Your very silence shows you agree.


Silence is an empty space, space is the home of the awakened mind.

--Gautama Buddha

You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind.

--Sathya Sai Baba

We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.

--Leonora Carrington

When I pronounce the word Future, the first syllable already belongs to the past. When I pronounce the word Silence, I destroy it.

--Wislawa Szymborska

I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.

--Henry Miller

Silence is the eternal duty of man.

--Thomas Carlyle

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams.

--Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.

--John Steinbeck

No writer in our time has been more isolated than Kafka, and yet few have achieved communication as well as he did.

--Eugenio Montale

I go silent so I can write. When my tongue is wagging my fingers are silent.

--Sonia Rumzi

How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.

--Virginia Woolf

I have only one confidant, and that is the silence of night.

--Soren Kierkegaard

Never be bullied into silence.

--Harvey Fierstein

The wisest man is the silent one. Examine his actions. Judge him by them.

--Karen Marie Moning

Listening to the eternal involves a silence within us.

--Thomas Raymond Kelly

Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.

--Unknown Author

Speech is of time, silence is of eternity.

--Thomas Carlyle

You misinterpret everything, even the silence.

--Franz Kafka

I was quiet, but I was not blind.

--Jane Austen

We need silence to be able to touch souls.

--Mother Teresa

Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.


Talk doesn't cook rice.

--Chinese Proverb

Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.

--Bob Dylan

You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.

--Arthur Conan Doyle

Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper.

--Martin Luther King Jr.

The truth hurts, but silence kills.

--Mark Twain

Speak only if it improves upon the silence.

--Mahatma Gandhi

Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.

--William Faulkner

I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.

--Cato the Elder

Silence is so freaking loud.

--Sarah Dessen

Time and silence are the most luxurious things today.

--Tom Ford

Speech is silver, silence is golden.

--Thomas Carlyle

It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

--Mahatma Gandhi

Saying nothing sometimes says the most.

--Emily Dickinson

There was a brief silence. I think I heard snow falling.

--Erich Segal

We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.

--Unknown Author

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

--Martin Luther King Jr.

Quiet people have the loudest minds.

--Stephen Hawking

I am a minimalist. I like saying the most with the least.

--Bob Newhart

Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.


Keep silent, because the world of silence is a vast fullness.


Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living. Talking is often a torment for me, and I need many days of silence to recover from the futility of words.

--Carl Jung

Silence is a place of great power and healing.

--Rachel Naomi Remen

Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation.

--Isaac Newton

Longer Version:

Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation. I keep the subject constantly before me and wait 'til the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.

Meditation is the action of silence.

--Jiddu Krishnamurti

There is no sound more annoying than the chatter of a child, and none more sad than the silence they leave when they are gone.

--Mark Lawrence

Seeing her sitting there unresponsive makes me realize that silence has a sound.

--Jodi Picoult

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.

--Leopold Stokowski

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.

--Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence.

--Louise Bourgeois

A fool is known by his speech; and a wise man by silence.


It is not easy to keep silent when silence is a lie.

--Victor Hugo

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.

--Unknown Author

Speak for yourself and from yourself, or be silent.

--George Henry Lewes

Silence is a statement that is open to gross misinterpretation.

--Craig Bruce

An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind.

--Walter Bagehot

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.

--Thomas Carlyle

Longer Version:

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.

Silence is more eloquent than words.

--Thomas Carlyle

Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.

--Samuel Beckett

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Longer Version:

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching. How far off, how cool, how chaste the persons look,begirt each one with a precinct or sanctuary!

Silence is better than unmeaning words.


I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.

--Publilius Syrus

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.


Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.


Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.

--Napoleon Hill

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.

--Napoléon Bonaparte

The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence; not in silence, but restraint.

--Marianne Moore

Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.

--Marcel Marceau

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

--Martin Luther King Jr.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

--Martin Luther King Jr.

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

--Martin Luther King Jr.

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

--Mark Twain

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

--Khalil Gibran

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Silence is a source of great strength.

--Lao Tzu

Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.

--Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man.

--Iain Duncan Smith
grayscale photo of woman doing silent hand sign

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