- grave, sober, or mirthless, as a person, the face, speech, tone, or mood: solemn remarks.
- gravely or somberly impressive; causing serious thoughts or a grave mood: solemn music.
- serious or earnest: solemn assurances.
- characterized by dignified or serious formality, as proceedings; of a formal or ceremonious character: a solemn occasion.
- made in due legal or other express form, as a declaration or agreement: a solemn oath.
- marked or observed with religious rites; having a religious character: a solemn holy day.
- uttered, prescribed, or made according to religious forms: a solemn ban on sacrifice.
Origin of solemn
SynonymsSee more synonyms for solemn on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for solemnly
In America: The National Catholic Review, for example, John Nassivera solemnly intones that ectogenesis is “a very serious thing.”The Artificial Womb Will Change Feminism Forever
August 12, 2014
These are not folks coming to solemnly worship during the several visiting hours open to non-Muslims.Clashes at Al Aqsa, Speeches at the UNGA
September 27, 2013
Irene Prusik died that same month, and Parkin solemnly posed for a snapshot beside the open casket.Brooklyn’s Real-Life Norman Bates Accused of Cross-Dressing Fraud
April 29, 2012
“There is a revolution coming,” Professor Reich solemnly proclaimed.Could Mitt Romney Be the Last Baby Boomer to Run for President?
April 25, 2012
“So sad,” the former president of Pakistan muttered under his breath as he solemnly read the news from home.Musharraf on Fixing Pakistan
October 28, 2009
Then the other lady said, solemnly, 'My dear Mrs. Meredith, it is too true.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
"Promise you won't laugh and I'll tell you," said Jessica solemnly.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
"You are doing yourself no good by your talk," he said solemnly.In the Midst of Alarms
I treated it all as a joke, but he solemnly assured me that he meant it.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
"I am thinking of an August day long ago," said Seth, solemnly and softly.A Little Book of Profitable Tales
- characterized or marked by seriousness or sinceritya solemn vow
- characterized by pomp, ceremony, or formality
- serious, glum, or pompous
- inspiring awea solemn occasion
- performed with religious ceremony
- gloomy or sombresolemn colours
Word Origin and History for solemnly
mid-14c., "performed with due religious ceremony or reverence, sacred, devoted to religious observances," also, of a vow, etc., "made under religious sanction, binding," from Old French solempne (12c., Modern French solennel) and directly from Latin sollemnis "annual, established, religiously fixed, formal, ceremonial, traditional," perhaps related to sollus "whole" (see safe (adj.)).
"The explanation that Latin sollemnis was formed from sollus whole + annus year is not considered valid" [Barnhart], but some assimilation via folk-etymology is possible. In Middle English also "famous, important; imposing, grand," hence Chaucer's friar, a ful solempne man. Meaning "marked by seriousness or earnestness" is from late 14c.; sense of "fitted to inspire devout reflection" is from c.1400. Related: Solemnly.