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a. Dark; gloomy: a somber room.
b. Dull or dark in color: somber hues.
a. Melancholy; dismal: a somber mood.
b. Serious; grave: a somber spokesperson.

[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.]

som′ber·ly adv.
som′ber·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.somberness - a state of partial or total darkness; "he struck a match to dispel the gloom"
semidarkness - partial darkness
2.somberness - a feeling of melancholy apprehension
apprehension, apprehensiveness, dread - fearful expectation or anticipation; "the student looked around the examination room with apprehension"
melancholy - a feeling of thoughtful sadness
3.somberness - a manner that is serious and solemn
serious-mindedness, earnestness, seriousness, sincerity - the trait of being serious; "a lack of solemnity is not necessarily a lack of seriousness"- Robert Rice
stodginess, stuffiness - dull and pompous gravity
References in classic literature ?
Occasional shafts of sunlight, penetrating the deep shade, warmed the somberness of the grove.
The idle- ness of a passenger, my isolation amongst all these men with whom I had no point of contact, the oily and lan- guid sea, the uniform somberness of the coast, seemed to keep me away from the truth of things, within the toil of a mournful and senseless delusion.
The somberness on the part of the Presidency must translate into quick re-uniting of the students with their families.
Oldberg's work, the spirit of the music alternates between powerful somberness and grave, sweet, melodious lyric beauty.
A regular house will need the consideration of the flow and use as a living space, while a tomb or mausoleum need the solemnity and somberness in the design for worship and reverence for the dead soul,' Dy explained.
The somberness of this truth is relieved by the evident relish with which he serves up his sorrowful tale.
As children learned to curb their passions and defer gratification, childhood, like adulthood, came to be characterized by a somberness and solemnness that often seems strange to modern eyes (Reinhardt 33, 46).
Meanwhile, there was somberness in the air when colleagues and citizens arrived to pay homage to slain SP Mukul Dwiedi.
Another of this essay's strengths is the way it documents the poem's unsettling mixture of tones, somberness mingled with a strange gaiety, and finds a context that helps explain it.
Zardari named his 19-year-old son as the party chairman even as he himself practically took over the PPP without so much as a dissenting note given the somberness of the occasion.
Young also reflects on the somberness he witnessed among the Germans as he travelled from Nijmegen to Oldenburg, Germany, after the war.
Dad's Dead," saying that As I Lay Dying "treats of the material and characters of Southwestern humor converted to a somberness and grotesqueness" ("William Faulkner and George Washington Harris" 54).