solemn

adjective
sol·​emn | \ ˈsä-ləm How to pronounce solemn (audio) \

Definition of solemn

1 : marked by the invocation of a religious sanction a solemn oath
2 : marked by the observance of established form or ceremony specifically : celebrated with full liturgical ceremony
3a : awe-inspiring : sublime solemn beauty
b : marked by grave sedateness and earnest sobriety a solemn gathering
c : somber, gloomy a solemn gray building

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Other Words from solemn

solemnly adverb
solemnness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for solemn

serious, grave, solemn, sedate, staid, sober, earnest mean not light or frivolous. serious implies a concern for what really matters. a serious play about social injustice grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude. read the proclamation in a grave voice solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity. a sad and solemn occasion sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness. remained sedate amid the commotion staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint. a quiet and staid community sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity. a sober look at the state of our schools earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose. an earnest reformer

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Buried by the Bernards is not a show that considers death with solemn, mournful silence. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Is Now the Worst Time for Buried by the Bernards? Or Is It the Best Time?," 12 Feb. 2021 Chawmos, a festival of Pakistan’s tiny Kalash community, is a portrait in contrasts: solemn ritual and joyous dancing, gender segregation and public flirtation, togetherness and isolation. New York Times, "Welcoming a New Year at an Ancient Festival in Pakistan," 27 Dec. 2020 As a counterweight to the solemn pieces, Villoro includes beguiling accounts on lighter topics, such as the popularity of lucha libre wrestling. Rigoberto González, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Mexico City through the eyes of its leading novelist flaneur," 18 Mar. 2021 Similarly, the leaden jokiness of the Iceland scenes that introduce Aquaman have been replaced by a more serious, even solemn tone, grounding the character’s flippancy in pain. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’: Sometimes bigger (and longer, a lot longer) really is better," 17 Mar. 2021 As epoch-defining generalizations go, this is about as accurate as the solemn proclamations about the end of irony after September 11. Thomas Chatterton Williams, Harper's Magazine, "Campaign Literature," 16 Mar. 2021 In a photo from the talk, the contestants are entrenched in what looks like a serious conversation, with Young explaining something and a solemn Kirkconnell listening. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Rachael Kirkconnell & Michelle Young Had An Unaired Confrontation During ATFR," 16 Mar. 2021 Overall, Snyder’s vision features a lot of slow-motion action and offers a darker, solemn vibe, from character interactions to the music. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Justice League': 10 burning questions you might have about HBO Max's upcoming four-hour 'Snyder Cut'," 15 Mar. 2021 From near that solemn spot along the Minnesota River, Mankato grew east to its wooded bluffs. Thomas Beaumont, Star Tribune, "Democrats finding support for Biden in small-city America," 13 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of solemn

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for solemn

Middle English solempne, from Anglo-French, from Latin sollemnis regularly appointed, solemn

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Time Traveler for solemn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for solemn

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Solemn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solemn. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for solemn

solemn

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of solemn

: very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression
: sad and serious
: done or made sincerely

solemn

adjective
sol·​emn | \ ˈsä-ləm How to pronounce solemn (audio) \

Kids Definition of solemn

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

Other Words from solemn

solemnly adverb

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Comments on solemn

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