Meaning of silent treatment in English:

silent treatment


  • 1Treatment with silence, rather than comment; the tactic of ignoring an issue, accusation, etc., instead of responding or reacting to it (now rare).

  • 2(Chiefly with the) the stubborn refusal to talk to or engage with a person, especially because of a recent disagreement or as a means of showing annoyance or disapproval; chiefly in "to give (a person) the silent treatment", "to get the silent treatment".


Early 19th century; earliest use found in Edinburgh Journal Science.