- 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 soberness
In all soberness, then, all I am certain of is that she had a stick to swing.Some Reminiscences
Our appearance, the soberness of our gait made us conspicuous.The Arrow of Gold
After awhile, the unhappiness disappeared, but the soberness remained.Divinity
But soberness and vigilance are necessary to enable one to pray.Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
But it will be found that I have spoken the words of truth and soberness.Opening Ceremonies of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, May 24, 1883
William C. Kingsley
- 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 soberness
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.