from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Serious and dignified: synonym: serious.
  • adjective Showing or behaving with dignified restraint or earnestness.
  • adjective Performed with full ceremony.
  • adjective Made with deep sincerity or invoking the force of religion.
  • adjective Dark or undecorated.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To solemnize.
  • Recurring yearly; annual.
  • Marked by religious rites or ceremonious observances; connected with religion; sacred; also, marked by special ritual or ceremony.
  • Pertaining to holiday; festive; joyous.
  • Of high repute; important; dignified.
  • Fitted to excite or express serious or devout reflections; grave; impressive; awe-inspiring: as, a solemn pile of buildings.
  • Marked by seriousness or earnestness in language or demeanor; impressive; grave: as, to make a solemn promise; a solemn utterance.
  • Affectedly grave, serious, or important: as, to put on a solemn face.
  • Accompanied with all due forms or ceremonies; made in form; formal; regular: now chiefly a law term: as, probate in solemn form.
  • Sober; gloomy; dark: noting color or tint.
  • Synonyms August, venerable, grand, stately.
  • Serious, etc. (see grave), reverential, sober.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Marked with religious rites and pomps; enjoined by, or connected with, religion; sacred.
  • adjective obsolete Pertaining to a festival; festive; festal.
  • adjective Archaic Stately; ceremonious; grand.
  • adjective Fitted to awaken or express serious reflections; marked by seriousness; serious; grave; devout.
  • adjective Obs. & R. Real; earnest; downright.
  • adjective Affectedly grave or serious.
  • adjective (Law) Made in form; ceremonious; ; conforming with all legal requirements.
  • adjective See Covenant, 2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Deeply serious and somber.
  • adjective Somberly impressive.
  • adjective Performed with great ceremony.
  • adjective Sacred.
  • adjective Gloomy or sombre.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective characterized by a firm and humorless belief in the validity of your opinions
  • adjective dignified and somber in manner or character and committed to keeping promises


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English solemne, from Old French, from Latin sollemnis, established, customary; see sol- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English solemne, from Old French solempne, from Late Latin sōlennis and sōlempnis, from Latin sōlemnis, from sollemnis ("ritual; festive, solemn, customary, celebrated at a fixed date"), from sollus ("entire").


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  • His expression solemn, he pulled the strip of plaid from behind his shoulder and draped the end over their joined hands.


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  • On Monday, the Family Leader released a response by Mr. Gingrich, who gave what he called a solemn vow "to defend and strengthen the family."

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