somber

[som-ber]

adjective

gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted: a somber passageway.
dark and dull, as color, or as things in respect to color: a somber dress.
gloomy, depressing, or dismal: a somber mood.
extremely serious; grave: a somber expression on his face.

Nearby words

  1. somatotropic,
  2. somatotropin,
  3. somatotropin release-inhibiting factor,
  4. somatotropin-releasing factor,
  5. somatotype,
  6. somberly,
  7. sombre,
  8. sombrero,
  9. sombrous,
  10. some

Also especially British, som·bre.

Origin of somber

1750–60; < French sombre, Middle French, probably noun derivative of *sombrer to make shady < Vulgar Latin *subumbrāre, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + umbrāre to cast a shadow, derivative of umbra shade

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for somber


Word Origin and History for somber

somber

adj.

1760 "gloomy, shadowy" (earlier sombrous, c.1730), from French sombre "dark, gloomy," from Old French sombre (14c.), from an adjective from Late Latin subumbrare "to shadow," from sub "under" (see sub-) + umbra "shade, shadow," perhaps from a suffixed form of PIE *andho- "blind, dark" (see umbrage). Related: Somberly; somberness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper