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[suh-lem-ni-tee] /səˈlɛm nɪ ti/
noun, plural solemnities.
the state or character of being solemn; earnestness; gravity; impressiveness:
the solemnity of a state funeral.
Often, solemnities. a solemn observance, ceremonial proceeding, or special formality:
the solemnities of Easter.
Law. a formality that renders an act or document valid.
Origin of solemnity
1250-1300; Middle English solempnete < Old French < Latin sollemnitās, equivalent to sollemnis solemn + -itās- -ity
Related forms
oversolemnity, noun
semisolemnity, noun
supersolemnity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for solemnity
  • The presentation filters out intimations of hierarchy or solemnity in the objects.
  • Steichen is at his but when he is trying to express the restfulness and solemnity of night or evening.
  • It was an occasion for solemnity but no longer a wrenching heartbreak.
  • So when violence does occur, it's solidly earthbound and staged with magnificent solemnity.
  • And the solemnity here seems every bit as forced as the levity.
  • We retreated in solemnity, lest it stir and the curse of incivility and unreason be upon us for eternity.
  • solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolousness.
  • Burning with solemnity, they'll waggle their toy guitars.
  • My cheeks are flushed, my eyes closed and cast down in an attempt at solemnity.
  • Christine chatted and laughed, but her gaiety seemed intended to offset an encroaching, forbidding solemnity.
British Dictionary definitions for solemnity


noun (pl) -ties
the state or quality of being solemn
(often pl) solemn ceremony, observance, celebration, etc
(law) a formality necessary to validate a deed, act, contract, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for solemnity

c.1300, "observance of ceremony," from Old French solemnite, solempnete "celebration, high festival, church ceremony" and directly from Latin solemnitatem (nominative solemnitas) "a solemnity," from sollemnis (see solemn). Meaning "state of being solemn" is from 1712. Related: Solemnities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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