Definition of solemn
2 : marked by the observance of established form or ceremony; specifically : celebrated with full liturgical ceremony
Examples of solemn in a Sentence
The women running the office where I was given immunizations and completed more paperwork said they had a young friend back in the District who would love my British accent. They were going to call her this very instant, they teased, and then I'd have a companion for the evening. They also talked in more solemn tones about all the brave men and women who came through the base and then shipped off to Iraq. —Willem Marx, Harper's, September 2006
Caesar was slaughtered in a sanctified space, his body was sacrosanct since he held the position of supreme pontiff, and his assassins had recently taken a solemn oath to protect his life with their own. Yet none of this seems to have figured prominently in the charges that were laid against his killers. —Robert Garland, History Today, February 2004
The testimony may well have had serious judicial consequences, even lethal ones, but its style is so glum and flat-footed that it gives an impression not of solemn majesty but of grotesque comedy … —Jonathan Ree, Times Literary Supplement, 13 Aug. 2004
To the vast majority of people in this Muslim nation of 145 million, Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, not war and hatred. It requires that women dress modestly, but not make themselves invisible. Its mosques are solemn and silent, but its shrines are relaxed and colorful. Its liturgy says Islam should be spread by persuasion, not by force … —Pamela Constable, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2001
He spoke in a solemn and thoughtful manner.
He wore a very solemn expression on his face.
He recited the poem in a solemn voice.
A solemn crowd gathered around the grave.
We made a solemn promise to love each other forever.
Recent Examples of solemn from the Web
Orlando has planned an array of solemn vigils and somber speeches to commemorate the day, involving city politicians, survivors of the night, as well as countless supporters.
Arguing that transformed a solemn day of remembrance into one associated with leisure and recreation, veterans groups have long advocated a return to May 30.
Americans marched in Memorial Day parades Monday and came together in solemn ceremonies to pay their respects to those killed in service to the country.
That date change may also have begun the transformation of Memorial Day from a time of solemn remembrance to the first getaway of summer.
This is, at its heart, our most solemn and yet our most carefree long weekend, marking the beginning of summer, a time when life seems in full bloom.
To walk the solemn rows of white crosses and Stars of David is to be humbled, recognizing how truly small is our ability to add or detract to the enormity of June 1944.
But for now the river still flowed in the open, exposed to sky and the guardies' solemn view.
Why did our emperor wake up so early,and sits at the greatest gate of the city,on the throne, solemn, wearing the crown?Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solemn'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of solemn
Middle English solempne, from Anglo-French, from Latin sollemnis regularly appointed, solemn
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of solemn
SOLEMN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of solemn for English Language Learners
: very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression
: sad and serious
: done or made sincerely
SOLEMN Defined for Kids
Definition of solemn for Students
1 : very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression a solemn procession a solemn face
2 : done or made seriously and thoughtfully a solemn promise
Seen and Heard
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