so·​ber·​ing | \ ˈsō-b(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce sobering (audio) \

Definition of sobering

: tending to make one thoughtful or sober

Examples of sobering in a Sentence

His death is a sobering reminder of the dangers of mountaineering.

Recent Examples on the Web

Such a sobering contrast to the privilege of my thousand-mile journey up the coast. Crystal Paul, The Seattle Times, "What it’s like to take a 35-hour ride on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train from Los Angeles to Seattle," 29 Mar. 2019 The other, indelibly etched even without NBC dwelling on it, is Japan’s Totsuka taken away on a stretcher en route to a hospital after a gruesome and sobering crash not long before. Phil Rosenthal,, "Why thrill of Shaun White soaring, agony of Yuto Totsuka's crash will stick with us," 14 Feb. 2018 If tariffs curtail bourbon consumption in those markets abroad, the industry could be left with some sobering consequences — a flood of whiskey to sell by trying to boost sales in the U.S. and in countries unaffected by trade disputes. Bruce Schreiner, Fox News, "Kentucky bourbon inventory at highest level since 1972," 27 Sep. 2018 Forced to serve a year for the kind of on-screen antics that are common in American media, her story and Youssef’s hammer home a sobering point. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Rania Youssef Is the Egyptian Actress Who Faced Obscenity Charges Over a Dress," 4 Dec. 2018 Even more sobering: There are no prenatal experts with high-tech equipment to assist if there is distress during birth, or an emergency C-section is required; and the Eustachian tubes in newborn babies’ ears struggle with changes in air pressure. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 My father and others have been speaking about the environment for decades - not basing it on fallacy or new-age hypothesis, but rooted in science and facts, and the sobering awareness of our environmental vulnerability. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Just Paid Tribute to Prince Charles and His Work in the Fight Against Climate Change," 26 Oct. 2018 Let this sobering act actually feel scandalously self-indulgent. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes October 15-21," 13 Oct. 2018 This is another sobering indicator that Congress needs to step up and take action to protect the privacy and security of social media users. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Facebook faces class-action lawsuit over massive new hack," 28 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of sobering

1816, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near sobering

so being

so be it






Statistics for sobering

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sobering

The first known use of sobering was in 1816

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English Language Learners Definition of sobering

: making you feel serious and thoughtful

More from Merriam-Webster on sobering

Britannica English: Translation of sobering for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sobering

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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