[suh-brahy-i-tee, soh-]
See more synonyms for sobriety on
  1. the state or quality of being sober.
  2. temperance or moderation, especially in the use of alcoholic beverages.
  3. seriousness, gravity, or solemnity: an event marked by sobriety.

Origin of sobriety

1375–1425; late Middle English sobrietie (< Old French sobriete) < Latin sōbrietās, equivalent to sōbri(us) sober + -etās, variant of -itās -ity after vowel stems
Related formsnon·so·bri·e·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sobriety

Contemporary Examples of sobriety

Historical Examples of sobriety

  • Such are the enjoyments of sobriety; such are the gratifications of innocence.


    William Godwin

  • In the graver hours of activity and industry, sobriety may be proper.


    William Godwin

  • Between wisdom and sobriety of soul (which is temperance) he drew no distinction.

  • Men part with all sobriety of judgment when they come on ground of this kind.

  • To what degree of industry, frugality, and sobriety can the Indian be brought?

British Dictionary definitions for sobriety


  1. the state or quality of being sober
  2. the quality of refraining from excess
  3. the quality of being serious or sedate
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 sobriety

c.1400, "moderation in indulgence," from Old French sobriete "sobriety, moderation" (Modern French sobrieté) or directly from Latin sobrietatem (nominative sobrietas), from sobrius (see sober (adj.)). Meaning "steadiness, gravity" is recorded from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper