American English

Definition of solemn adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(of a person) not happy or smiling synonym serious Her face grew solemn. a solemn expression opposite cheerful Thesaurusseriousgrave earnest solemnThese words all describe someone who thinks and behaves carefully and sensibly, but often without much joy or laughter.serious thinking about things in a careful and sensible way; not laughing about something:He's really a very serious person. Be serious for a minute; this is important.grave (somewhat formal) (of a person) serious in manner, as if something sad, important, or worrying has just happened:She looked very grave as she entered the room.earnest serious and sincere:The earnest young doctor answered all our questions. an earnest attempt to communicatesolemn looking or sounding very serious, without smiling; done or said in a very serious and sincere way:The minister wore a solemn expression. I made a solemn promise that I would return.Patterns a(n) serious/grave/earnest/solemn expression/face a serious/solemn mood/atmosphere
  2. 2done, said, etc. in a very serious and sincere way a solemn oath/undertaking/vow, etc. a solemn and binding promise
  3. 3(of a religious ceremony or formal occasion) performed in a serious way a solemn ritual
adverb He nodded solemnly. She solemnly promised not to say a word to anyone about it. The choir walked solemnly past.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: solemn