Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sober

[soh-ber]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective, so·ber·er, so·ber·est.
  1. not intoxicated or drunk.
  2. habitually temperate, especially in the use of liquor.
  3. quiet or sedate in demeanor, as persons.
  4. marked by seriousness, gravity, solemnity, etc., as of demeanor, speech, etc.: a sober occasion.
  5. subdued in tone, as color; not colorful or showy, as clothes.
  6. free from excess, extravagance, or exaggeration: sober facts.
  7. showing self-control: sober restraint.
  8. sane or rational: a sober solution to the problem.
Show More
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become sober: (often followed by up).
Show More

Origin of sober

1300–50; Middle English sobre < Old French < Latin sōbrius
Related formsso·ber·ing·ly, adverbso·ber·ly, adverbso·ber·ness, nounnon·so·ber, adjectivenon·so·ber·ly, adverbnon·so·ber·ness, nounnon·so·ber·ing, adjectivequa·si-so·ber, adjectivequa·si-so·ber·ly, adverbun·so·ber, adjectiveun·so·ber·ly, adverbun·so·ber·ness, nounun·so·bered, adjectiveun·so·ber·ing, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. abstinent, abstemious. 4. serious, quiet, sedate, subdued, staid. See grave2. 5. somber, dull. 7. composed, collected. 8. reasonable, sound.

Antonyms

4. gay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for soberness

Historical Examples

  • In all soberness, then, all I am certain of is that she had a stick to swing.

    Some Reminiscences

    Joseph Conrad

  • Our appearance, the soberness of our gait made us conspicuous.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

  • After awhile, the unhappiness disappeared, but the soberness remained.

    Divinity

    William Morrison

  • But soberness and vigilance are necessary to enable one to pray.

  • But it will be found that I have spoken the words of truth and soberness.


British Dictionary definitions for soberness

sober

adjective
  1. not drunk
  2. not given to excessive indulgence in drink or any other activity
  3. sedate and rationala sober attitude to a problem
  4. (of colours) plain and dull or subdued
  5. free from exaggeration or speculationhe told us the sober truth
Show More
verb
  1. (usually foll by up) to make or become less intoxicated, reckless, etc
Show More
Derived Formssobering, adjectivesoberingly, adverbsoberly, adverbsoberness, noun

Word Origin

C14 sobre, from Old French, from Latin sōbrius
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for soberness

sober

adj.

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.

Show More

sober

v.

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper