toggle menu
1000+ books


used in a sentence
(click/touch triangles for details)
Definition serious and without cheer — perhaps even gloomy


lacking brightness or color
  • Before she said anything, I knew it was bad news from her somber face.
somber = grave or gloomy
  • She wore a somber black dress to the funeral.
  • a somber mood
  • the somber tones of Barber's Adagio for Strings
  • He noticed Ralph's scarred nakedness, and the sombre silence of all four of them.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • sombre = solemn (serious and cheerless)
    (editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use somber.)
  • Which is not to say that nothing broke into this strict and somber way of life.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • somber = serious and without cheer
  • The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of southeastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their sombre holiday.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • sombre = cheerless
    (editor's note:  This is a British spelling. Americans use somber.)
  • The entire community had performed the Ceremony of Loss together, murmuring the name Caleb throughout an entire day, less and less frequently, softer in volume, as the long and somber day went on, so that the little Four seemed to fade away gradually from everyone's consciousness.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
  • somber = sad
  • CHARLEY and BERNARD, somberly dressed, appear and knock on the kitchen door.
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • somberly = grave or even gloomy in character; or lacking brightness or color
  • "I came as soon as I could," the vampire said somberly, turning my head gently to the left and right, examining the damage.
    Darren Shan  --  A Vampire's Assistant
  • somberly = gravely
  • No one said much, the mood somber and grim.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • somber = serious and without cheer — perhaps even gloomy
  • Dumbledore came in, looking very somber.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • somber = grave or gloomy
  • Ismael Munoz, dark and somber, watching people come aboard.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • somber = grave or gloomy in character
  • He sounded unhappy, and there was a somber look on his face.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • somber = grave or even gloomy
  • Until you see his eyes you think he's somber, even mean, but he has the most thoughtful and gentle brown eyes.
    Alice Walker  --  The Color Purple
  • somber = grave or even gloomy in character
  • Straight, somber and impersonal, he entered the actress's room and stood waiting.
    Thornton Wilder  --  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • somber = grave or even gloomy in character
  • The background was somber—almost black.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • somber = lacking brightness
  • They both looked so plain and somber compared to Mo Rhodes and her loud-colored pillows and sparkly wall hangings in Oriental designs.
    Jill McCorkle  --  Ferris Beach
  • somber = dull (lacking brightness or color)
  • to sit and wait for our own deaths with proper somber faces
    Amy Tan  --  The Joy Luck Club
  • somber = grave or gloomy
  • Roger, sitting on the very edge of the cliff, looked somberly back at the island as he worked with his fingers at a loose tooth.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
somberly = solemnly (in a serious mood—not cheerful or lighthearted)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Search for other examples by interest
General — Google News®
General — Time® Magazine
General — Wikipedia®