somber

adjective som·ber \ ˈsäm-bər \
variants: or sombre
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of somber

1 :so shaded as to be dark and gloomy
2 a :of a serious mien :grave
  • somber dignitaries
b :of a dismal or depressing character :melancholy
c :conveying gloomy suggestions or ideas
3 :of a dull or heavy cast or shade :dark colored

somberly

adverb

somberness

noun

Examples of somber in a Sentence

  1. Looking out at his audience, a somber mass of monks, Gregory gave Mary a new identity that would shape her image for fourteen hundred years. —Jonathan DarmanNewsweek29 May 2006
  2. This year marks a somber anniversary—it was 150 years ago that humans wiped out the last survivors of this species. A relative of the razorbills and puffins, and about the size of a small goose, the great auk was black-bodied with a white underbelly, and walked erect, like a penguin. —Bill MontevecchiNatural HistoryAugust 1994
  3. The purple darkness was filled with men who lectured and jabbered. Sometimes he could see them gesticulating against the blue and somber sky. —Stephen CraneThe Red Badge of Courage1895
  4. Her death put us in a somber mood.

  5. The movie is a somber portrait of life on the streets.

  6. He wore a somber suit.

Recent Examples of somber from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'somber.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of somber

French sombre


SOMBER Defined for English Language Learners

somber

adjective

Definition of somber for English Language Learners

  • : very sad and serious

  • : having a dull or dark color


SOMBER Defined for Kids

somber

adjective som·ber
variants: or sombre \ˈsäm-bər\

Definition of somber for Students

1 :very sad or serious
  • a somber mood
  • somber news
2 :being dark and gloomy :dull
  • somber colors


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