solemn

[ sol-uhm ]
/ ˈsɒl əm /

adjective

Origin of solemn

1275–1325; Middle English solem(p)ne (< Old French) < Late Latin sōlennis, sōlempnis, Latin sōlemnis, variant of sollemnis consecrated, holy, derivative of sollus whole
SYNONYMS FOR solemn
2 august, imposing, stately.
4 ritual, ceremonial.
6 devotional, sacred.
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for solemnness

  • Both me and Sister Hilda-Antony felt there was a strange and awful stillness and solemnness about the place.

    The Dop Doctor|Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

British Dictionary definitions for solemnness

solemn

/ (ˈsɒləm) /

adjective

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
Derived Formssolemnly, adverbsolemnness or solemness, noun

Word Origin for solemn

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

solemn


adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper