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.
- Also especially British, som·bre .
- som·ber·ly, adverb
- som·ber·ness, noun
- un·som·ber, adjective
- un·som·ber·ly, adverb
- un·som·ber·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use somber in a sentence
You’d expect that people who’ve endured the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge would be somber.
A moving and somber opening ceremony ended with the traditional lighting of the Olympic cauldron—a prestigious honor that is typically given to a former athlete from the host country or a person who represents Olympic values.Naomi Osaka was a meaningful pick to light the Olympic cauldron | Annabelle Timsit | July 23, 2021 | Quartz
Back in 1948, in bombed-out London, the Games were even more somber.Three years after WWII ended, Japan was still technically an enemy — and banned from the London Games | Michael Rosenwald | July 23, 2021 | Washington Post
Unfortunately, our recent breakfasts have been much more somber.My Home Country Has an Excellent Vaccination Track Record. What It Doesn't Have Is Vaccines | Prabal Gurung | June 16, 2021 | Time
While this is a somber anniversary that we must honor and remember the tragedy, it is also a time to reflect on what our community has accomplished as a result of this horrific event.Opinion | Pulse shows that out of tragedy, there can be triumph | Jason Lindsay | June 13, 2021 | Washington Blade
But mostly they just walked, their faces somber, their hands shaking as the snow began to fall.Justice League Vigil for Slain NYPD Officers Asks Whose Life Matters | Olivia Nuzzi | December 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was both stylish and somber while being suitably grand for the formality of the occasion.
It was an intimate and somber plea, like a parent opening an intervention with a wayward child.
After Republicans took control of the Senate and made gains in the House, Democrats were in a somber, reflective mood.Asian Americans Are The Country’s Fastest Growing Swing Vote | Tim Mak | November 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“I think if anybody saw real fame first or secondhand, they would not want to pursue it at all,” says a somber Culkin.The Revival of Kieran Culkin: A Reluctant Star Seizes the Spotlight | Marlow Stern | October 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But there was no shadow ahead of him this night; there was no somber thing to bend down the high serenity of his happy heart.The Bondboy | George W. (George Washington) Ogden
He was a dark, somber looking man with a particularly ugly scar on his chin.
The deep, dull murmurings of the multitude swelled in unison with the sighings of the storm rising upon the somber night.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
While Jos spoke, something akin to kindness crept through the hard, somber lines, the lips twitched and the eyes softened.Motor Matt's "Century" Run | Stanley R. Matthews
The lodges of Fire Bear and his followers were placed in a circle, in a grove somber enough for Druidical sacrifice.Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman