- 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 soberly
So Israelis are approaching this soberly—but most laugh off reports of celebrations from Gaza.As We Leave Our Metaphoric Bunkers
November 23, 2012
They speak slowly and soberly, the pain evident in their voices, their faces etched with despair.Sob-Story Campaign Between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Turns on Personal Pain
May 25, 2012
"If we build a stadium of change, they will come," the elephant said soberly.The Sky Is Falling
February 5, 2009
"It's a long time since I have had a woman friend, Christine," he said soberly.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"Very likely there's a large amount of truth in that," said Linda soberly.
"But that is exactly what I must tell you, Katy," said Linda soberly.
"You'd better save yourself a disappointment," said Linda soberly.
"Why, I dunno's there's anything in the way of it," she said, soberly.Meadow Grass
- 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 soberly
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.