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

  • adj. Dark; gloomy.
  • adj. Dull or dark in color.
  • adj. Melancholy; dismal: a somber mood.
  • adj. Serious; grave.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Dark or dreary in character; joyless, and grim.
  • adj. Dark, lacking color or brightness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Dull; dusky; somewhat dark; gloomy
  • adj. Melancholy; sad; grave; depressing
  • transitive v. To make somber, or dark; to make shady.
  • n. Gloom; obscurity; duskiness; somberness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Dark; dull; dusky; gloomy: as, a somber hue; somber clouds.
  • Dismal; melancholy; dull: opposed to cheerful.
  • Synonyms Darksome, cloudy, murky.
  • To make somber, dark, or gloomy; shade.

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

  • adj. lacking brightness or color; dull
  • adj. grave or even gloomy in character


French sombre, from Old French, from *sombrer, to cast a shadow, from Late Latin subumbrāre, from Latin sub umbrā, in shadow : sub, under; see sub- + umbrā, ablative of umbra, shadow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French sombre ("shady, gloomy"), from Spanish sombra ("shade, dark part of a picture, also a ghost"), probably from Latin *subumbrare, from sub ("under") + umbra ("shade").[2] (Wiktionary)



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