Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

somber

[som-ber]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted: a somber passageway.
  2. dark and dull, as color, or as things in respect to color: a somber dress.
  3. gloomy, depressing, or dismal: a somber mood.
  4. extremely serious; grave: a somber expression on his face.
Also especially British, som·bre.

Origin of somber

1750–60; < French sombre, Middle French, probably noun derivative of *sombrer to make shady < Vulgar Latin *subumbrāre, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + umbrāre to cast a shadow, derivative of umbra shade
Related formssom·ber·ly, adverbsom·ber·ness, nounun·som·ber, adjectiveun·som·ber·ly, adverbun·som·ber·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. dusky, murky, sunless. 3. lugubrious, mournful, doleful, melancholy.

Antonyms

1. bright. 3. cheerful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for somberly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


Word Origin and History for somberly

somber

adj.

1760 "gloomy, shadowy" (earlier sombrous, c.1730), from French sombre "dark, gloomy," from Old French sombre (14c.), from an adjective from Late Latin subumbrare "to shadow," from sub "under" (see sub-) + umbra "shade, shadow," perhaps from a suffixed form of PIE *andho- "blind, dark" (see umbrage). Related: Somberly; somberness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper