Meaning of SOLEMN in English

I. ˈsäləm sometimes ˈsȯl- adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English solempne, solemne, from Middle French, from Latin sollennis, solennis, sollemnis, solemnis regularly appointed, festive, solemn, probably from sollus whole, entire (from Oscan; akin to Greek holos entire) + -ennis (from annus year) — more at safe , annual


a. : marked by or performed, made, or uttered under circumstances that indicate a full and sober realization and acceptance of all that is involved and usually accompanied by a specific religious sanction

took a solemn oath on the Bible

a solemn dedication to the cause of freedom

b. : made in due and proper form and so as to be legally binding : conforming to all legal requirements

a solemn writ

solemn instruments

made solemn affidavit

a solemn declaration


a. archaic , of a day or season : given over to the performance of special rites or ceremonies usually of a religious character

b. : carried out in accord with accepted religious forms or rites

a solemn blessing

a solemn curse

c. : observed or celebrated with unusual pomp and ceremony and usually after a pattern established by liturgy or tradition

a solemn festival

specifically : distinguished from other services by being celebrated with full liturgy

a solemn high mass

solemn complines

3. obsolete

a. : sumptuous , splendid

b. : notable , distinguished


a. : notable for marked ceremony and formality : characterized by pomp, dignity, and elaborate attention to form

a solemn state dinner

b. obsolete : being such in full form : conforming to what is usual in the thing specified


a. : of a kind fitted to excite serious reflections or exalted emotions : awe-inspiring , sublime

these solemn scenes

b. : marked by grave sobriety and earnest serious sedateness : free from casualness or lighthearted levity

the audience grew solemn

at this solemn moment

spoke in a solemn and thoughtful manner

c. : of a serious nature : involving responsibility and strict adherence to duty imposed

staked his life on the fulfilling of this solemn charge

children are a solemn responsibility to their parents

6. : somber , gloomy

a suit of solemn black

Synonyms: see ceremonial , serious

II. adverb

: solemnly

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.