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somber

[som-ber] /ˈsɒm bər/
adjective
1.
gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted:
a somber passageway.
2.
dark and dull, as color, or as things in respect to color:
a somber dress.
3.
gloomy, depressing, or dismal:
a somber mood.
4.
extremely serious; grave:
a somber expression on his face.
Also, especially British, sombre.
Origin
1750-1760
1750-60; < French sombre, Middle French, probably noun derivative of *sombrer to make shady < Vulgar Latin *subumbrāre, equivalent to Latin sub- sub- + umbrāre to cast a shadow, derivative of umbra shade
Related forms
somberly, adverb
somberness, noun
unsomber, adjective
unsomberly, adverb
unsomberness, noun
Synonyms
1. dusky, murky, sunless. 3. lugubrious, mournful, doleful, melancholy.
Antonyms
1. bright. 3. cheerful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for somberly
  • More somberly, he sees and expects the gap between policy and intelligence to widen.
  • Today's kids, he somberly informs us, barely match up.
Word Origin and History for somberly

somber

adj.

1760 "gloomy, shadowy" (earlier sombrous, c.1730), from French sombre "dark, gloomy," from Old French sombre (14c.), from an adjective from Late Latin subumbrare "to shadow," from sub "under" (see sub-) + umbra "shade, shadow," perhaps from a suffixed form of PIE *andho- "blind, dark" (see umbrage). Related: Somberly; somberness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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