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sober

[ soh-ber ]
/ ˈsoʊ bər /
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See synonyms for: sober / sobered / sobering / sobers on Thesaurus.com

adjective, so·ber·er, so·ber·est.

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become sober: (often followed by up).

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Origin of sober

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English sobre, from Old French, from Latin sōbrius
4. See grave2.
English sober comes from Middle English sobre, sober(e), sobor, from Old French sobre, from Latin sōbrius “sober (not intoxicated), in possession of one’s faculties, staid and sensible in behavior.” Sōbrius appears to be a compound of the preposition and prefix sē, sē- “apart, aside, by oneself” and the adjective ēbrius “drunk, intoxicated” (the derivative adjective ēbriōsus means “addicted to alcohol, alcoholic”). The adjective sōbrius therefore means “not drunk,” which is an odd way of looking at things, as if sobriety were the unusual condition and drunkenness the normal.
Ēbrius ultimately derives from the Proto-Indo-European root egwh- “to drink” (the consonant gwh regularly becomes b in Latin and ph in Greek). The Latin suffix -ri- added to egwh- yields the stem for the adjective ēbrius. In Greek, the root egwh- is prefixed by the negative particle ne-, becoming first nēgwh and then nēph-, the stem of the Greek verb nḗphein “to be sober.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for sober

sober
/ (ˈsəʊbə) /

adjective

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

verb

(usually foll by up) to make or become less intoxicated, reckless, etc
sobering, adjectivesoberingly, adverbsoberly, adverbsoberness, noun
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
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