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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The couple arrived at the solemn occasion this morning along with royal families from across Europe and around the globe to to celebrate the life of the late Queen at Westminster Abbey. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 19 Sep. 2022 The Duchess of Sussex also wore a pair of delicate pearl earrings, gifted to her by the Queen, for the solemn occasion. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 19 Sep. 2022 There were no flights overhead to disrupt the solemn occasion, as Heathrow Airport delayed flights during the procession, airport officials said. Max Colchester, WSJ, 14 Sep. 2022 At the solemn occasion, multiple royals were visibly emotional while mourning the death of the beloved monarch. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 Sep. 2022 These heart-to-heart conversations, sometimes scored by the music of a plaintive piano or accompanied by clients’ tears, take on an air of solemn ceremony. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 7 Feb. 2022 The death of Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled for more than 70 years, plunged the United Kingdom into mourning and 10 days of solemn ceremony. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2022 In a flat, Ángeles keeps solemn company with her despair. John Hopewell, Variety, 17 Sep. 2022 At his funeral on Monday, there will be tributes and tears, solemn salutes, and the mournful sound of a bugler playing Taps. Thomas Farragher, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near solemn

solely

solemn

solemn form

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Solemn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solemn. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for solemn

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

More from Merriam-Webster on solemn

Nglish: Translation of solemn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solemn for Arabic Speakers

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