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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for solemnity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You know, my dear, that there is a good deal of solemnity among us.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • But I can say, and say with truth, and solemnity, that the idee didn't scare me none.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 4. Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
  • We marched along like this with all the stateliness and solemnity of camels!

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Satisfied by the solemnity of my promise, Olivia now suffered me to depart.

  • What he said was very gentle, and it seemed to me it was his solemnity that made him gentle.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • The solemnity of the scene accorded with the importance of his undertaking.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Others are of silk, and in colour varied according to the solemnity of the day.

  • Happier, if he know the solemnity of that relation and honor its law!

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
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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