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Silence takes practice but science proves its positive effects. Here are 200 silence quotes to remind you of its power.

Do you ever crave a little peace and quiet? If you’re like me, it’s a basic need.

Our modern lives have become so inundated with noise, that silence, or that sense of “peace and quiet”, has become a commodity. For others, silence just doesn’t come naturally and is something to be avoided at all costs, but learning to embrace the power of silence can be helpful for us all.

Tuning out noise, whether it’s sound pollution or negative self-talk, takes practice but science proves intentional silence has positive effects in just about every aspect of our lives. From cultivating inner peace and self-awareness to increasing work productivity, finding moments of stillness and quiet in our daily lives is a deliberate act of self-care in our increasingly noisy world.

More than just a symbol downtime, you’ve probably already heard the phrase “silence speaks louder than words.” Brilliant thinkers throughout history have taught us that keeping silent is truly an art we should all take the time to master.

Here are 200 silence quotes that will remind you of just how powerful it is:

Silence is of different kinds, and breathes different meanings.

CHARLOTTE BRONTË

Work hard in silence, let your success make the noise.

FRANK OCEAN

Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.

GORDON HEMPTON

He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.

ELBERT HUBBARD

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

BLAISE PASCAL

Listen to silence. It has so much to say.

RUMI

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

MAHATMA GANDHI

Silence is a source of Great Strength.

Lao Tzu

Speech is silver, silence is golden.

THOMAS CARLYLE

Silence is true wisdom’s best reply.

EURIPIDES

Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.

William S. Burroughs

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.

Rumi

Saying nothing sometimes says the most.

Emily Dickinson

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

PYTHAGORAS

Our toil must be in silence, and our efforts all in secret; for this enlightened age, when men believe not even what they see, the doubting of wise men would be his greatest strength.

Bram Stoker

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world, is the highest applause.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A sage thing is timely silence, and better than any speech.

PLUTARCH

Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.

Deepak Chopra

The good and the wise lead quiet lives.

EURIPIDES

He himself was almost never bored, and there was no man with whom it would have been a greater mistake to suppose that silence meant displeasure.

HENRY JAMES

In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.

Henry David Thoreau

Silence is sometimes the best answer.

Dalai Lama

The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence.

Marianne Moore

Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly.

EPICTETUS

Silence is argument carried out by other means.

CHE GUEVARA

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.

JOSH BILLINGS

We’re fascinated by the words – but where we meet is in the silence behind them.

RAM DASS

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Speak only if it improves upon the silence.

MAHATMA GANDHI

If we can only speak to slander our betters, let us hold our tongues.

ANNE BRONTË

SILENCE IS NOT ONLY NEVER THIRSTY, BUT ALSO NEVER BRINGS PAIN OR SORROW.

HIPPOCRATES

SILENCE BECOMES COWARDICE WHEN OCCASION DEMANDS SPEAKING OUT THE WHOLE TRUTH AND ACTING ACCORDINGLY.

MAHATMA GANDHI

Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.

MUHAMMAD ALI

Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.

BOB DYLAN

We need silence to be able to touch souls.

MOTHER TERESA

Silence is better than unmeaning words.

PYTHAGORAS

All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak – and speak in such a way that people will remember it.

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.

LAO TZU

Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.

THOMAS MERTON

What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence.

CLAUDE MONET

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

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.

ELIE WIESEL

The most significant conversations of our lives occur in silence.

SIMON VAN BOOY

Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

CONFUCIUS

Meditation is silence, energising and fulfilling. Silent is the eloquent expression of the inexpressible.

SRI CHINMOY

Though silence is not necessarily an admission, it is not a denial, either.

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.

ELISABETH KÜBLER-ROSS

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

I don’t think many people appreciate silence or realize that it is as close to music as you can get.

TONI MORRISON

Who tells a finer tale than any of us. Silence does.

KAREN BLIXEN

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit. What sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.

WILLIAM PENN

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

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

THOMAS CARLYLE

Even in the most beautiful music there are some silences, which are there so we can witness the importance of silence.

ANDREA BOCELLI

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

ALDOUS HUXLEY

Nowhere can a man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.

JANE AUSTEN

Non-judgment quiets the internal dialogue, and this opens once again the doorway to creativity. 

DEEPAK CHOPRA

Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.

WAYNE DYER

I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.

CHARLES DE GAULLEF

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

GEORGE ELIOT

I like my human experience served up with a little silence and restraint. Silence makes experience go further and, when it does die, gives it that dignity common to a thing one had touched and not ravished.

DJUNA BARNES

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

LEONARDO DA VINCI

A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.

EMILE M. CIORAN

Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.

SUSAN SONTAG

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.

FRANCIS BACON

If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something.

FEDERICO FELLINI

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

VICTOR HUGO

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

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

If you spend enough time with yourself in silence, you’ll be surprised what goes through your head.

SANDRA BULLOCK

Some of the most powerful speeches I have given have been delivered in the dedicated silence of my actions.

STEVE MARABOLI

Real action is in silent moments.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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.

ISAAC NEWTON

Silence is a gift. Learn to value its essence.

UNKNOWN

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therein to be content.

HELLEN KELLER

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.

MAHATMA GANDHI

Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO

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

PUBLILIUS SYRUS

Silence is the sanctuary of prudence.

BALTHASAR GRACIAN

Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers.

UNKNOWN

Silence is more eloquent than words.

THOMAS CARLYLE

I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art.

KHALIL GIBRAN

Silence and reserve will give anyone a reputation for wisdom.

MYRTLE REED

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

SOREN KIERKEGAARD

Without great solitude no serious work is possible.

PABLO PICASSO

Only he who knows how to speak can be silent.

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE

One must learn to be silent just as one must learn to talk.

VIRGINIA WOOLF

Speech is the small change of silence.

GEORGE MEREDITH

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

NAPOLEON HILL

​​Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about.

SASKYA PANDITA

The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.

EDGAR ALLAN POE

Listen to silence. It has so much to say.

RUMI

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

PLUTARCH

Silence is pure and holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking.

NICHOLAS SPARKS

A heart worth loving is one you understand, even in silence.

SHANNON L. ALDER

I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.

C.S. LEWIS

When a question has no correct answer, there is only one honest response. The gray area between yes and no. Silence.

DAN BROWN

Silence is foolish if we are wise, but wise if we are foolish.

CHARLES COLTON

The space, the gaps, the pauses, the silence – those things that allow us to regenerate and recharge – had all but disappeared in my own life and in the lives of so many I knew.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON

The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.

CHARLOTTE BRONTË

Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. Pico Lyer

A few moments of inner peace and quiet allows the brain to reset itself. You become more centered as this happens, since the brain is clearing out distractions and too much “cross talk.”

DEEPAK CHOPRA

In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.

RUMI

“If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.

JOHN BUNYAN

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN

The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent.’

ALFRED BRENDEL

It’s very important in life to know when to shut up. You should not be afraid of silence.

Alex Trebek

Never miss a good chance to shut up. Will Rogers

Silence is as deep as eternity, speech as shallow as time.

THOMAS CARLYLE

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.

CARL JUNG

Silence was not the absence of sound but was itself a sound that could be loud or soft, soothing or disturbing, complex or simple.

JULIUS LESTER

Make peace with silence, and remind yourself that it is in this space that you’ll come to remember your spirit. When you’re able to transcend an aversion to silence, you’ll also transcend many other miseries.

WAYNE DYER

Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.

Pythagoras

Sound is our mind, silence is our being.

OSHO

Silence. You must learn that art, it is the only way to survive.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.

HENRY DAVID THOREAU

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.

MAHATMA GANDHI

The silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.

ROBERT LYND

The moment you become aware of the silence, you also have become silent.

ECKHART TOLLE

We need silence to be able to reach our Self. Both internal and external silence is very important to feel the presence of that supreme Love.

AMIT RAY

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.

RUMI

Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.

CHAIM POTOK

If you’re asked: What is silence? Respond: It is the first stone of the Wisdom’s temple.

Pythagoras

Without silence, there cannot be any real appreciation in life, which is as delicate in its inner fabric as a closed rosebud.

DEEPAK CHOPRA

Let silence take you to the core of life.

RUMI

Silence is exhilarating at first – as noise is – but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep.

EDWARD HOAGLAND

I would like to spend the rest of my days in a place so silent–and working at a pace so slow–that I would be able to hear myself living.

ELIZABETH GILBERT

Space and silence are two aspects of the same thing. The same no-thing. They are externalization of inner space and inner silence, which is stillness: the infinitely creative womb of all existence.

ECKHART TOLLE

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

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

External silence can be the doorway to inner silence.

RAM DASS

Silence is so accurate.

MARK ROTHKO

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

PYTHAGORAS

To look at life without words is not to lose the ability to form words- to think, remember, and plan. To be silent is not to lose your tongue. On the contrary, it is only through silence that one can discover something new to talk about.

ALAN WATTS

Imagine a temple inside your mind, a haven from the chaos of the world. Visit often.

Marianne Williamson

Only in quietness do we possess our own minds and discover the resources of the Inner Life.

HELLEN KELLER

The fruit of silence is tranquillity.

ARABIAN PROVERB

Never rush an emotion; everything in life has a rhythm, it is the pauses and silences that speak the truth.

MICHAEL JACKSON

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

MARCEL MARCEAU

Dive into your heart center. Sit in the silence. Desire self-realization with all your heart, with all your mind, and all your soul. Everything will take care of itself.

ROBERT ADAMS

It all adds up to one thing: peace, silence, solitude. The world and its noise are out of sight and far away. Forest and field, sun and wind and sky, earth and water, all speak the same language.

THOMAS MERTON

Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.

UNKNOWN

Speak for yourself and from yourself, or be silent.

GEORGE HENRY LEWES

A silent man is easily reputed wise.

FREDERICK WILLIAM ROBERTSON

If you sit quiet long enough, you find out what people really think.

CAROL BARTZ

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.

ANSEL ADAMS

I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.

EMILY CARR

Silence is like a river of grace inviting us to leap unafraid into its beckoning depths.

MACRINA WIEDERKEHR

Silence about a thing just magnifies it.

TENNESSE WILLIAMS

Silence is the speech of love, the music of the spheres above.

RICHARD HENRY STODDARD

When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.

ECKHART TOLLE

You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.

STEPHEN CHBOSKY

Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily.

GWENDOLYN B. BENNETT

If people would only talk about what they understood, Earth would be a very quiet place.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Silence, when nothing need be said, is the eloquence of discretion.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.

MARCUS AURELIUS

Silence is a profound melody, for those who can hear it above all the noise.

SOCRATES

In the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.

RACHEL NAOMI REMEN

Quieting your mind is the doorway to a peaceful soul.

CLYDE LEE DENNIS

The best of all monopoly profits is a quiet life.

SIR JOHN RICHARD HICKS

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

WALTER BAGEHOT

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.

BERTRAND RUSSELL

I was quiet but I was not blind.

JANE AUSTEN

If you can’t be kind, be quiet.

UNKNOWN

​​How often do we talk just to fill up the quiet space? How often do we waste our breath talking about nonsense?

COLLEEN PATRICK-GOUDREAU

Deep rivers run quiet.

HARUKI MURAKAMI

We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.

SUSAN L. TAYLOR

Simply wait, be quiet, still The world will freely offer itself to you.

FRANZ KAFKA

Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life.

KHALED HOSSEINI

Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.

LANCE MORROW

Lions don’t have to roar. There is power in silence, confidence, and persistence. Those who work don’t talk, and those who talk don’t work.

LES BROWN

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

MARK TWAIN

The truth is silent. The truth doesn’t come with words. It’s something that I just know; it’s something that I can feel without words, and it’s called silent knowledge.

MIGUEL ANGEL RUIZ

Silence is a place of great power and healing.

RACHEL NAOMI REMEN

It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence.

SENECA THE ELDER

There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses.

MICHEL FOUCAULT

Nothing is more useful than silence.

MENANDER

Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.

SAMUEL JOHNSON

Silence is the cornerstone of character.

CHARLES ALEXANDER EASTMAN

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Benjamin Franklin

All noise is waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions.

ELBERT HUBBARD

In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity.

MEISTER ECKHART

It is well, when in difficulties, to say never a word, neither black nor white. Speech is silver but silence is golden.

MURIEL SPARK

Of every noble work the silent part is best; of all expression, that which cannot be expressed.

WILLIAM WETMORE STORY

The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.

Baruch Spinoza

Better remain silent, better not even think, if you are not prepared to act.

ANNIE BESANT

In quietness the soul expands.

ROCKWELL KENT

Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.

HANS ARP

Silence fertilizes the deep place where personality grows. A life with a peaceful center can weather all storms.

NORMAN VINCENT PEALE

Empathize with silence by listening for the feelings and needs behind it.

MARSHALL BERTRAM ROSENBERG

Listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot.

JACK KEROUAC

Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

To be silent is sometimes an art, yet not so great a one as certain people would have us believe, who are wisest they are most silent.

CHRISTOPH MARTIN WIELAND

When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.

HENRY J. KAISER

The temple of our purest thoughts is silence.

SARAH JOSEPHA HALE