Synonym Chooser

How is the word sober different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of sober are earnest, grave, sedate, serious, solemn, and staid. While all these words mean "not light or frivolous," sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity.

a sober look at the state of our schools

When might earnest be a better fit than sober?

The synonyms earnest and sober are sometimes interchangeable, but earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose.

an earnest reformer

When can grave be used instead of sober?

The meanings of grave and sober largely overlap; however, grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude.

read the proclamation in a grave voice

When could sedate be used to replace sober?

The words sedate and sober can be used in similar contexts, but sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness.

remained sedate amid the commotion

When would serious be a good substitute for sober?

In some situations, the words serious and sober are roughly equivalent. However, serious implies a concern for what really matters.

a serious play about social injustice

Where would solemn be a reasonable alternative to sober?

While the synonyms solemn and sober are close in meaning, solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity.

a sad and solemn occasion

In what contexts can staid take the place of sober?

Although the words staid and sober have much in common, staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint.

a quiet and staid community

Thesaurus Entries Near sober

Cite this Entry

“Sober.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/sober. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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