so·​lem·​ni·​ty | \ sə-ˈlem-nə-tē How to pronounce solemnity (audio) \
plural solemnities

Definition of solemnity

1 : formal or ceremonious observance of an occasion or event
2 : a solemn event or occasion
3 : a solemn condition or quality the solemnity of his words

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Examples of solemnity in a Sentence

the solemnity of the occasion Her voice conveyed the solemnity of the passage. The visiting statesman was welcomed with appropriate solemnity. Elaborate solemnities marked the 100th anniversary of the event.
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Recent Examples on the Web In the opening scenes, Bergoglio finishes second in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Ratzinger; Meirelles depicts the vote, which takes place amid the somewhat oppressive glamor of the Sistine Chapel, with painstaking solemnity. David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Breezy Buddy Comedy About the Modern Papacy," 29 Nov. 2019 The stirring music echoed off the walls, closing out the day with an uplifting air of formal solemnity., "Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe," 17 Oct. 2019 Sane at first plays Ada with youthful mischievousness and then, gradually, with more solemnity. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Haunting Senegalese Love Story That Stunned Cannes," 14 Nov. 2019 No matter how just or righteous the show of force may be, one still hopes that the mighty understand the gravity and solemnity of their decisions. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Trump’s Situation Room photo is straight from a war movie — just how he would want it," 28 Oct. 2019 This is a tragic event and is being treated with great care and solemnity on the part of the command., "A Marine visiting Boston on leave played a role in the death of Emerson College student Daniel J. Hollis, who was fatally injured last month during an altercation in Allston, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.," 9 Oct. 2019 Because the imagery shuns flag waving, instead weaving solemnity, decay and even violence into the mix, these words assume the urgent quality of a demand in the face of dissolution. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Lari Pittman’s extraordinary ‘Declaration of Independence’ at the Hammer Museum," 7 Oct. 2019 The Lions celebrated the early goal jubilantly — Lamine Sané ducked onto a knee to pretend to polish Dwyer’s head as Nani and Robin Jansson stood by with their arms folded behind their back in mock solemnity. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City stumbles in 2-1 loss to Houston Dynamo, loses ground in playoff race," 17 Aug. 2019 This is a movie far too pleased with its tricksy structure and a heightened acting style that lurches between archness and solemnity. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ema': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solemnity.' 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 solemnity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for solemnity

Time Traveler

The first known use of solemnity was in the 14th century

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Statistics for solemnity

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Solemnity.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for solemnity


How to pronounce solemnity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of solemnity

: the quality of being formal or serious
: formal ceremonies


so·​lem·​ni·​ty | \ sə-ˈlem-nə-tē How to pronounce solemnity (audio) \
plural solemnities

Kids Definition of solemnity

1 : a serious or formal ceremony The important visitors were welcomed with fitting solemnity.
2 : formal dignity He spoke with solemnity.

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More from Merriam-Webster on solemnity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solemnity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with solemnity

Spanish Central: Translation of solemnity

Nglish: Translation of solemnity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on solemnity

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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