Simple Definition of solemn
: very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression
: sad and serious
: done or made sincerely
Full Definition of solemn
2 : marked by the observance of established form or ceremony; specifically : celebrated with full liturgical ceremony
Examples of solemn
The women running the office where I was given immunizations and completed more paperwork said they had a young friend back in the District who would love my British accent. They were going to call her this very instant, they teased, and then I'd have a companion for the evening. They also talked in more solemn tones about all the brave men and women who came through the base and then shipped off to Iraq. —Willem Marx, Harper's, September 2006
Caesar was slaughtered in a sanctified space, his body was sacrosanct since he held the position of supreme pontiff, and his assassins had recently taken a solemn oath to protect his life with their own. Yet none of this seems to have figured prominently in the charges that were laid against his killers. —Robert Garland, History Today, February 2004
The testimony may well have had serious judicial consequences, even lethal ones, but its style is so glum and flat-footed that it gives an impression not of solemn majesty but of grotesque comedy … —Jonathan Ree, Times Literary Supplement, 13 Aug. 2004
To the vast majority of people in this Muslim nation of 145 million, Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, not war and hatred. It requires that women dress modestly, but not make themselves invisible. Its mosques are solemn and silent, but its shrines are relaxed and colorful. Its liturgy says Islam should be spread by persuasion, not by force … —Pamela Constable, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2001
He spoke in a solemn and thoughtful manner.
He wore a very solemn expression on his face.
He recited the poem in a solemn voice.
A solemn crowd gathered around the grave.
We made a solemn promise to love each other forever.
Origin of solemn
Middle English solempne, from Anglo-French, from Latin sollemnis regularly appointed, solemn
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of solemn
Rhymes with solemn
Seen and Heard
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