1

sober

adjective so·ber \ ˈsō-bər \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of sober

soberer play \ˈsō-bər-ər\; soberest play \ˈsō-b(ə-)rəst\
1 a : sparing in the use of food and drink : abstemious
b : not addicted to intoxicating drink
c : not drunk
2 : marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor
4 : marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness
  • a sober candlelight vigil
5 : subdued in tone or color
6 : showing no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy, emotion, or prejudice

soberly

play \ˈsō-bər-lē\ adverb

soberness

noun

Examples of sober in a Sentence

  1. I'm driving, so I have to stay sober tonight.

  2. He is a sober, hardworking farmer.

  3. The story is a sober look at drug abuse.

  4. Illness is a sober reminder of our mortality.

  5. The article is a sober reflection on the state of our nation.

Recent Examples of sober from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sober.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of sober

Middle English sobre, from Anglo-French, from Latin sobrius; akin to Latin ebrius drunk

sober Synonyms

Synonyms
clearheaded, straight
Antonyms
blasted [slang], blind, blitzed [slang], blotto [slang], bombed, boozy, canned [slang], cockeyed, crocked, drunk, drunken, fried, gassed, hammered [slang], high, inebriate, inebriated, intoxicated, juiced [slang], lit, lit up, loaded [slang], looped, oiled [slang], pickled, pie-eyed, plastered, potted [slang], ripped [slang], sloshed [slang], smashed [slang], sottish, soused, sozzled, squiffed (or squiffy), stewed, stiff, stinking [slang], stoned, tanked [slang], tight, tipsy, wasted [slang], wiped out [slang]
Related Words
abstemious, abstinent, dry, teetotal, temperate; cool, level, steady
Near Antonyms
alcoholic, bibulous, crapulous, dipsomaniacal; maudlin, tiddly [chiefly British]; befuddled, besotted, dopey (also dopy); debauched, dissipated, dissolute

Synonym Discussion of sober

serious, grave, solemn, sedate, staid, sober, earnest mean not light or frivolous. serious implies a concern for what really matters.
    • a serious play about social injustice
grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude.
    • read the proclamation in a grave voice
solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity.
    • a sad and solemn occasion
sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness.
    • remained sedate amid the commotion
staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint.
    • a quiet and staid community
sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity.
    • a sober look at the state of our schools
earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose.
    • an earnest reformer

Other Drug/Tobacco Terms


2

sober

verb

Definition of sober

sobered; sobering play \ˈsō-b(ə-)riŋ\
transitive verb
: to make sober
intransitive verb
: to become sober usually used with up

Examples of sober in a Sentence

  1. He returned home from the war, saddened and sobered by his experiences.

Recent Examples of sober from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sober.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sober

14th century

Other Drug/Tobacco Terms



SOBER Defined for English Language Learners

sober

adjective

Definition of sober for English Language Learners

  • : not drunk

  • : having or showing a very serious attitude or quality

  • : plain in color


sober

verb

Definition of sober for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) serious or thoughtful


SOBER Defined for Kids

1

sober

adjective so·ber \ ˈsō-bər \

Definition of sober for Students

soberer; soberest
1 : not drinking too much : temperate
2 : not drunk
3 : having or showing a serious attitude : solemn
  • a sober child
  • a sober voice
4 : having a plain color
  • sober clothes
5 : carefully reasoned or considered : realistic
  • a sober reminder

2

sober

verb

Definition of sober for Students

sobered; sobering
1 : to make or become less drunk
2 : to make or become serious or thoughtful The news sobered us.


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