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

  • adjective Somber in aspect or in character.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Somber; gloomy.

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

  • adjective Gloomy; somber.

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

  • adjective Gloomy; sombre.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French sombre +‎ -ous. Compare Spanish sombroso.


  • The sombrous and heavy sound of the billows, successively dashing against the rocky beach at a profound distance beneath, was to the ear what the landscape was to the eye — a symbol of unvaried and monotonous melancholy, not unmingled with horror.

    The Bride of Lammermoor

  • The sullen hills were flanked with light, and the valleys chined with shadow, and all the sombrous moors between awoke in furrowed anger.

    Lorna Doone

  • I now went down a gentle declivity the delightful park of Windsor at the foot of which it looks so sombrous and gloomy that I could not help fancying it was some vast Gothic old temple.

    Travels in England in 1782

  • Again the tinkling, a low laugh, and, turning sharply toward an alcove from whence the sounds came, the duke, through the half-light and trailing, sombrous shadows of its entrance, perceived a figure in a chair.

    Under the Rose

  • On the one hand was the deserted, desolate plain over which lay a sullen, gathering mist; on the other, the sombrous obscurity of the wood.

    Under the Rose

  • After rising, dressing, washing in cold diluted rose-water, and descending to the salle-à-manger, where I had laid my morning-meal the previous evening, I promenaded an hour the only one of these long sombrous tufted corridors in which there were not more than two dead, though behind the doors on either hand, all of which I had locked, I knew that they lay in plenty.

    The Purple Cloud

  • The afternoon was waning when he gazed again into the deep, sombrous rift of Greenstream: from where Gordon stood, on the heights, in the flooding sun, it appeared to be already evening below.

    Mountain Blood A Novel

  • Tess shook her head, brown eyes sombrous with suffering.

    The Secret of the Storm Country

  • One day, while she was kneeling with wet cheeks before her mother's coffin, and praying that the sombrous overhanging cloud might pass away, a letter arrived from Lord Granville offering her husband the Consulate of Trieste [FN#261] with a salary of (pounds) 700 a year.

    The Life of Sir Richard Burton

  • Where, mixed with graceful birch, the sombrous pine



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