adjective sol·emn \ˈsä-ləm\

: very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression

: sad and serious

: done or made sincerely

Full Definition of SOLEMN

:  marked by the invocation of a religious sanction <a solemn oath>
:  marked by the observance of established form or ceremony; specifically :  celebrated with full liturgical ceremony
a :  awe-inspiring :  sublime <solemn beauty>
b :  marked by grave sedateness and earnest sobriety <a solemn gathering>
c :  somber, gloomy <a solemn gray building>
sol·emn·ly adverb
sol·emn·ness noun

Examples of SOLEMN

  1. 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

Origin of SOLEMN

Middle English solempne, from Anglo-French, from Latin sollemnis regularly appointed, solemn
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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>.

Rhymes with SOLEMN

SOLEMN Defined for Kids


adjective sol·emn \ˈsä-ləm\

Definition of SOLEMN for Kids

:  very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression <a solemn procession> <a solemn face>
:  done or made seriously and thoughtfully <a solemn promise>
sol·emn·ly adverb


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