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 But Moss said rioters interrupted one of the most solemn functions of democracy – counting votes for the peaceful transfer of power. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 19 July 2021 The atmosphere was solemn at one of the seven Catholic churches that held a special commemorative Mass. John Lyons, WSJ, 4 June 2021 The nine House Democrats prosecuting the case against Trump carried the sole impeachment charge across the Capitol on Monday evening in a solemn and ceremonial march along the same halls the rioters ransacked three weeks ago. Lisa Mascaro And Mary Clare Jalonick, Star Tribune, 26 Jan. 2021 Hours before the transition Wednesday, rescue workers stood at solemn attention, and clergy members hugged a line of local officials while many of them sobbed. Terry Spencer, Anchorage Daily News, 9 July 2021 Hours before the transition Wednesday, rescue workers stood at solemn attention, and clergy members hugged local officials, many of them sobbing. Terry Spencer, ajc, 9 July 2021 Hours before the transition Wednesday, rescue workers stood at solemn attention, and clergy members hugged a line of local officials while many of them sobbed. Terry Spencer, Chron, 8 July 2021 With solemn piano chords, Allen describes the ebbs and flows of his faith. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 28 June 2021 Just like last month when public visitors were treated to the same thrill as part of a 50th anniversary event, the moment was hushed and solemn. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 19 June 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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Dictionary Entries Near solemn

solely

solemn

solemn form

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Solemn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solemn. Accessed 3 Aug. 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

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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