- not intoxicated or drunk.
- habitually temperate, especially in the use of liquor.
- quiet or sedate in demeanor, as persons.
- marked by seriousness, gravity, solemnity, etc., as of demeanor, speech, etc.: a sober occasion.
- subdued in tone, as color; not colorful or showy, as clothes.
- free from excess, extravagance, or exaggeration: sober facts.
- showing self-control: sober restraint.
- sane or rational: a sober solution to the problem.
- to make or become sober: (often followed by up).
Origin of sober
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sober
Today, however, the 36-year-old musician is sober—and even showers once in a while.Julian Casablancas Enters the Void: On the Strokes’ Friction, Why He Left NYC, and Starting Over
October 9, 2014
She's well spoken, educated, and sober—a far cry from the one-time face of the adult world, Jenna Jameson.Porn Keeps Up with the Kardashians: Belle Knox on the Mainstreaming of Adult Stars
September 27, 2014
You want to believe that there is something between good and evil, right and wrong, joy and pain, drunk and sober.Beast Fiction: They Killed Our Brothers
September 14, 2014
Sober and muted colors including shades of gray, one described in a local paper as ‘Battleship,’ were prevalent.How World Wars Made Females More Androgynous
July 22, 2014
As a lawyer, Martin was a valued asset in the convention—when sober.Life, Liberty, and the Founding Fathers’ Pursuit of Hoppiness
July 4, 2014
And Buck was just sober enough to perceive that he was being held lightly.Way of the Lawless
These questions, in her sober mood, weighed the others down.Viviette
William J. Locke
The delusion has now vanished, and made room for sober reason and reflection.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
But that bit about the sober gray eyes and the piquant chin Jane was responsible for.Quaint Courtships
- not drunk
- not given to excessive indulgence in drink or any other activity
- sedate and rationala sober attitude to a problem
- (of colours) plain and dull or subdued
- free from exaggeration or speculationhe told us the sober truth
- (usually foll by up) to make or become less intoxicated, reckless, etc
Word Origin and History for sober
mid-14c., "moderate in desires or actions, temperate, restrained," especially "abstaining from strong drink," also "calm, quiet, not overcome by emotion," from Old French sobre "decent; sober" (12c.), from Latin sobrius "not drunk, temperate, moderate, sensible," from a variant of se- "without" (see se-) + ebrius "drunk," of unknown origin. Meaning "not drunk at the moment" is from late 14c.; also "appropriately solemn, serious, not giddy." Related: Soberly; soberness. Sobersides "sedate, serious-minded person" is recorded from 1705.
late 14c., "reduce to a quiet condition" (transitive), from sober (adj.). Meaning "render grave or serious" is from 1726. Intransitive sense of "become sober" (since late 19c. often with up) is from 1820. Related: Sobered; sobering.