so·​bri·​ety | \ sə-ˈbrī-ə-tē How to pronounce sobriety (audio) , sō-\

Definition of sobriety

: the quality or state of being sober

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of sobriety in a Sentence

They did a sobriety test on him. the sobriety of the situation

Recent Examples on the Web

The decision to strike the law making it a separate violation comes amid court rulings on whether motorists driving on streets and highways give implied consent to sobriety tests. USA TODAY, "Robot hostesses, veggie booze, ‘civil death’: News from around our 50 states," 4 July 2019 Karl failed roadside sobriety tests and refused chemical testing, the letter states. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Denver fire captain suspended after intoxicated-driving conviction," 3 July 2019 Zhukovskyy failed field sobriety tests and was taken into custody on a charge of driving under the influence. Christopher Keating,, "Connecticut DMV official denies wrongdoing related to driver in horrific N.H. crash that killed 7 motorcyclists," 26 June 2019 Police arrived, performed a field sobriety test, charged him with operating a vehicle under the influence, released him on a $2,500 bond and took him to Hartford Hospital for evaluation, the report says. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Truck driver charged with killing motorcyclists in New Hampshire shouldn't have had a license, Massachusetts official says," 26 June 2019 Police at the scene conducted a field sobriety test and determined Khoury was drunk, officials said. Evan Sernoffsky,, "Redwood City man faces murder charge in fatal DUI crash on Park Presidio Blvd.," 26 June 2019 Connecticut prosecutors say he was arrested May 11 in a Walmart parking lot in East Windsor Walmart after failing a sobriety test. Michael Casey, Anchorage Daily News, "Driver pleads not guilty in New Hampshire crash into motorcyclists that killed 7," 25 June 2019 Connecticut prosecutors say he was arrested May 11 in a Walmart parking lot in East Windsor Walmart after failing a sobriety test. NBC News, "Driver pleads not guilty in motorcycle crash that killed 7," 25 June 2019 Connecticut prosecutors say he was arrested May 11 in an East Windsor Walmart parking lot after failing a sobriety test. Michael Casey,, "Pickup truck driver with record charged with 7 homicides in New Hampshire biker crash," 24 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of sobriety

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sobriety

Middle English sobrete, from Anglo-French sobreté, from Latin sobrietat-, sobrietas, from sobrius

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sobriety

Dictionary Entries near sobriety






sob sister

sob story

Statistics for sobriety

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sobriety

The first known use of sobriety was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sobriety



English Language Learners Definition of sobriety

: the state of not being drunk
formal : the quality of being serious

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sobriety

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sobriety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sobriety

Spanish Central: Translation of sobriety

Nglish: Translation of sobriety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sobriety for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sobriety

What made you want to look up sobriety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!