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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Beneath the solemnity of this obligation he made for his plan a very elaborate argument.

    Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II John T. Morse
  • But I can say, and say with truth, and solemnity, that the idee didn't scare me none.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 4. Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
  • A feeling of solemnity fell suddenly upon the twins and Albert.

    When Sarah Went to School Elsie Singmaster
  • We marched along like this with all the stateliness and solemnity of camels!

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • This solemnity in quality is paired with astonishing flexibility of utterance, so that its gambols are always grotesque.

    How to Listen to Music, 7th ed. Henry Edward Krehbiel
  • The solemnity of the scene accorded with the importance of his undertaking.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Among our greater artists, the chief want, at the present day, is that of solemnity and definite purpose.

  • Others are of silk, and in colour varied according to the solemnity of the day.

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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