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sober

[soh-ber]
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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.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become sober: (often followed by up).
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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 for sober

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

Antonyms for sober

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

Related Words for sobering

major, grievous, dangerous, deep, far-reaching, urgent, severe, important, significant, tough, meaningful, difficult, dim, mitigate, dampen, temper, restrain, soften, modulate, arduous

Examples from the Web for sobering

Contemporary Examples of sobering

Historical Examples of sobering

  • Such inelastic lessons, given time to soak in, were sobering.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • He was even able to indulge himself in a quiet, sobering grin at his own folly.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • This sobering blow which had fallen on it had probably not come before it was needed.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Helen, too, noted the effect in his sobering eyes, and was resentfully glad.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Gregory nodded bleakly, sobering at once, and swallowed the pellet.

    Homesick

    Lyn Venable


British Dictionary definitions for sobering

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
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verb
  1. (usually foll by up) to make or become less intoxicated, reckless, etc
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Derived Formssobering, adjectivesoberingly, adverbsoberly, adverbsoberness, noun

Word Origin for sober

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 sobering

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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper