Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of solemn are earnest, grave, sedate, serious, sober, and staid. While all these words mean "not light or frivolous," solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity.

a sad and solemn occasion

When is it sensible to use earnest instead of solemn?

While the synonyms earnest and solemn are close in meaning, earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose.

an earnest reformer

When might grave be a better fit than solemn?

While in some cases nearly identical to solemn, grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude.

read the proclamation in a grave voice

When would sedate be a good substitute for solemn?

Although the words sedate and solemn have much in common, sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness.

remained sedate amid the commotion

Where would serious be a reasonable alternative to solemn?

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

a serious play about social injustice

In what contexts can sober take the place of solemn?

The words sober and solemn can be used in similar contexts, but sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity.

a sober look at the state of our schools

When could staid be used to replace solemn?

The words staid and solemn are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint.

a quiet and staid community

Thesaurus Entries Near solemn

Cite this Entry

“Solemn.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/solemn. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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