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somber Syllabification: som·ber
Pronunciation: /ˈsämbər/
(British also sombre)

Definition of somber in English:


1Dark or dull in color or tone; gloomy: the night skies were somber and starless
More example sentences
  • Neutral colours can look too bland and dark colours too sombre.
  • The paintings seem at first to be sombre in tone, coloured mostly by umbers and sepia-like hues.
  • Striped pants and jackets come in sombre or bold colours, and vertical striped sports shirts in uneven or even patterns.
dark, drab, dull, dingy;
restrained, subdued, sober, funereal
1.1Oppressively solemn or sober in mood; grave: he looked at her with a somber expression
More example sentences
  • He wore a gray uniform with a long coat and heavy leather boots and his face wore a stern, somber expression.
  • You could have gone two ways with this thing and been very sombre and serious about this subject.
  • Sharma reported it all in a deep and somber voice, manly but sensitive.
solemn, earnest, serious, grave, sober, unsmiling, stern, grim, dour, humorless;
gloomy, depressed, sad, melancholy, dismal, doleful, mournful, lugubrious


Pronunciation: /ˈsämbərlē/
Example sentences
  • Dozens of officers forming a Guard of Honour snapped to attention as the procession, headed by two mounted officers and the solitary drummer, sombrely approached the building.
  • Participants and onlookers stood sombrely as a single cannon shot heralded the silence, which marks the beginning of the armistice on November 11 1918.
  • The stained glass windows are of the expected bright colouring and the dark choir stalls sombrely face each other from both sides of the aisle, in the usual manner.
Pronunciation: /ˈsämbərnəs/
Example sentences
  • The Soho streets, their sombreness heightened by the glorious evening sunshine that flooded the near empty pavements on Thursday night, were alive again.
  • You could hear the sombreness of the vast Finnish forests, the determination and endurance of her people, and the ingenuity of its composer in striking degree here.
  • And if the passing of the great man brought a sombreness to the mood, that wasn't lifted by what happened on the pitch.


Mid 18th century: from French, based on Latin sub 'under' + umbra 'shade'.

Definition of somber in:
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