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[suh-lem-ni-tee] /səˈlɛm nɪ ti/
noun, plural solemnities.
the state or character of being solemn; earnestness; gravity; impressiveness:
the solemnity of a state funeral.
Often, solemnities. a solemn observance, ceremonial proceeding, or special formality:
the solemnities of Easter.
Law. a formality that renders an act or document valid.
Origin of solemnity
1250-1300; Middle English solempnete < Old French < Latin sollemnitās, equivalent to sollemnis solemn + -itās- -ity
Related forms
oversolemnity, noun
semisolemnity, noun
supersolemnity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for solemnity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Beneath the solemnity of this obligation he made for his plan a very elaborate argument.

    Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II John T. Morse
  • There was solemnity, but no hesitation, in the manner with which they now went to the safe.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • A feeling of solemnity fell suddenly upon the twins and Albert.

    When Sarah Went to School Elsie Singmaster
  • I was dumfounded at his solemnity, at the responsibility he was putting upon me.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • This solemnity in quality is paired with astonishing flexibility of utterance, so that its gambols are always grotesque.

    How to Listen to Music, 7th ed. Henry Edward Krehbiel
  • And at last his eyes met Mr. Grey's firmly, almost with solemnity.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Among our greater artists, the chief want, at the present day, is that of solemnity and definite purpose.

  • The solemnity of the hour moved Clelia like the strangeness of the time.

    Country Neighbors Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for solemnity


noun (pl) -ties
the state or quality of being solemn
(often pl) solemn ceremony, observance, celebration, etc
(law) a formality necessary to validate a deed, act, contract, etc
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
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Word Origin and History for solemnity

c.1300, "observance of ceremony," from Old French solemnite, solempnete "celebration, high festival, church ceremony" and directly from Latin solemnitatem (nominative solemnitas) "a solemnity," from sollemnis (see solemn). Meaning "state of being solemn" is from 1712. Related: Solemnities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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