so·​ber·​ing ˈsō-b(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce sobering (audio)
: tending to make one thoughtful or sober

Example Sentences

His death is a sobering reminder of the dangers of mountaineering.
Recent Examples on the Web The new study is a sobering reminder that efforts to combat mosquitoes will need to be every bit as adaptable as the insects themselves. Arkansas Online, 25 Dec. 2022 Even with conservation efforts in place, the populations were still depleted, serving as a sobering reminder of just how quickly extinction can happen, the study authors say. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 12 Dec. 2022 For the last two years, Thanksgiving served as a sobering reminder of the COVID-19 pandemic’s staying power. Los Angeles Times, 26 Nov. 2022 It’s a sobering reflection of the trajectory of humanity. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 30 Dec. 2022 Gingeras, on the other hand, offers a far more sobering account of the empire in focusing on its final years. Vanessa H. Larson, Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2022 The sobering forecast is based on an analysis of the sharp declines in the scores of eighth-graders on national math tests taken between 2019 and 2022. Ben Chapman, WSJ, 27 Dec. 2022 And that’s where recent optimism runs straight into a somewhat sobering reality. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 20 Dec. 2022 Millions of Americans have watched as a House select committee revealed the sobering results of its investigation in a series of public hearings from June to October, including moments of bombshell testimony. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1816, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sobering was in 1816

Dictionary Entries Near sobering

Cite this Entry

“Sobering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sobering

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