View synonyms for solemn


[ sol-uhm ]


  1. grave, sober, or mirthless, as a person, the face, speech, tone, or mood:

    solemn remarks.

    Synonyms: unsmiling, serious

    Antonyms: humorous

  2. gravely or somberly impressive; causing serious thoughts or a grave mood:

    solemn music.

    Synonyms: stately, imposing, august

    Antonyms: trivial

  3. serious or earnest:

    solemn assurances.

  4. characterized by dignified or serious formality, as proceedings; of a formal or ceremonious character:

    a solemn occasion.

    Synonyms: ceremonial, ritual

  5. made in due legal or other express form, as a declaration or agreement:

    a solemn oath.

  6. marked or observed with religious rites; having a religious character:

    a solemn holy day.

    Synonyms: sacred, devotional

  7. uttered, prescribed, or made according to religious forms:

    a solemn ban on sacrifice.


/ ˈsɒləm /


  1. characterized or marked by seriousness or sincerity

    a solemn vow

  2. characterized by pomp, ceremony, or formality
  3. serious, glum, or pompous
  4. inspiring awe

    a solemn occasion

  5. performed with religious ceremony
  6. gloomy or sombre

    solemn colours

“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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Derived Forms

  • ˈsolemnness, noun
  • ˈsolemnly, adverb
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Other Words From

  • sol·emn·ly adverb
  • sol·emn·ness noun
  • o·ver·sol·emn adjective
  • o·ver·sol·emn·ness noun
  • sem·i·sol·emn adjective
  • sem·i·sol·emn·ness noun
  • su·per·sol·emn adjective
  • su·per·sol·emn·ness noun
  • un·sol·emn adjective
  • un·sol·emn·ness noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of solemn1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English solem(p)ne, from Old French or directly from Late Latin sōlennis, sōlempnis, Latin sōlemnis, variant of sollemnis “consecrated, holy,” derivative of sollus “whole”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of solemn1

C14: from Old French solempne, from Latin sōllemnis appointed, perhaps from sollus whole
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Synonym Study

See grave 2.
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Example Sentences

This not-so-solemn memento is characteristic of Target Gallery’s 18-artist “A Year In,” a 2020-2021 time capsule curated by Nancy Daly.

The officers were told there would be a ceremony at halftime, Fanone says—a solemn procession of honor and reverence, the sort of thing we do to create heroes in America.

From Time

As elected lawmakers, we have a solemn duty and obligation to develop and enact policies that will permanently end the unhoused crisis.

From Time

It was an impromptu, solemn gesture to acknowledge racial inequalities in America.

There’s an inherent goofiness to dog clothing that could seem disrespectful at solemn events, for instance, or professional workplaces.

They stood in a single row, united by solemn respect as the Liu family remained inside.

Somewhat coyly, Skidmore admits that “Richard was to break this solemn vow in spectacular style.”

The parade was solemn, with reverent music and the call-and-response singing of two choirs.

No putdowns, no jokes, no frivolity whatever—he was most solemn and his eyes focused somewhere far beyond the back of my head.

Third, he started writing Indian-style songs, all curry powder and souvenirs from the Taj Mahal, very solemn.

Joe looked at her with a smile, his face still solemn and serious for all its youth and the fires of new-lit hope behind his eyes.

So he bore down on the solemn declaration that she stood face to face with a prison term for perjury.

They were just about to celebrate tabagie, or a solemn feast, over his last farewell.

Please advise the surrender as soon as possible in order to give due and solemn publicity to the event.

The upraised hand, the potent silence, the solemn gaze of a hundred eyes was too much for the old man to bear.





solelySolemn High Mass