AskDefine | Define sober

Dictionary Definition

sober adj
1 not affected by a chemical substance (especially alcohol) [ant: intoxicated]
2 dignified and somber in manner or character and committed to keeping promises; "a grave God-fearing man"; "a quiet sedate nature"; "as sober as a judge"; "a solemn promise"; "the judge was solemn as he pronounced sentence" [syn: grave, sedate, solemn]
3 lacking brightness or color; dull; "drab faded curtains"; "sober Puritan gray"; "children in somber brown clothes" [syn: drab, somber, sombre]
4 completely lacking in playfulness [syn: unplayful, serious] [ant: playful]


1 cause to become sober; "A sobering thought"
2 become more realistic; "After thinking about the potential consequences of his plan, he sobered up" [syn: sober up]
3 become sober after excessive alcohol consumption; "Keep him in bed until he sobers up" [syn: sober up]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old French sobre < Latin sobrius ("without wine") < se- ("without") + ebrius ("intoxicated"), of unknown origin.


  • sō'bə(r), /ˈsəʊbə(r)/, /"s@Ub@(r)/
    Rhymes: -əʊbə(r)


sober (comparative: soberer, superlative: soberest)
  1. not drunk; not intoxicated
  2. not given to excessive drinking of alcohol;
  3. in character; moderate; realistic; serious; not playful; not passionate; cool; self-controlled
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 230d.
      Which is the finest and soberest state possible.
  4. dull; not bright or colorful;




Related terms


not drunk
  • Czech: střízlivý
  • French: sobre
  • German: nüchtern
  • Greek: νηφάλιος, ξεμέθυστος
  • Japanese: シラフな
  • Polish: trzeźwy , trzeźwa , trzeźwe
  • Russian: трезвый
  • Portuguese: sóbrio
  • Swedish: nykter
not given to excessive drinking of alcohol
  • Czech: střízlivý
  • French: sobre
  • German: besonnen, ernst
  • Greek: νηφάλιος
  • Japanese: 真面目な
  • Portuguese: sóbrio
  • Russian: умеренный (umérennyj)

See also


  1. (often with up) To make or become sober.
  2. (often with up) To overcome or lose a state of intoxication.
    ''I took him hours to sober up.


make or become sober
  • German: ernüchtern
  • Japanese: 酔いを醒ます
overcome intoxication

Extensive Definition

Sober may refer to:
sober in French: Sober (homonymie)
sober in Galician: Sober (homónimos)
sober in Italian: Sober

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Quaker-colored, Spartan, abstaining, abstentious, abstinent, acier, aristocratic, ascetic, ashen, ashy, august, austere, awe-inspiring, balanced, bald, bare, blackish, bland, calm, candid, canescent, cinereous, cinerous, cogitative, cognitive, cold sober, collected, colorless, common, commonplace, commonsense, composed, concentrating, concentrative, conceptive, conceptual, conceptualized, constrained, contemplating, contemplative, continent, controlled, cool, coolheaded, courtly, creamy, dapple, dapple-gray, dappled, dappled-gray, dark, dark-colored, darkish, darksome, decorous, deliberating, deliberative, delicate, demure, detoxify, dignified, dingy, direct, disciplined, dismal, dispassionate, dove-colored, dove-gray, down-to-earth, drab, dreary, dry, dull, dusk, dusky, dusty, earnest, eggshell, eschewing, excogitating, fatal, fateful, flat, forbearing, forgoing, formal, formidable, frank, frowning, frugal, funereal, gentle, glaucescent, glaucous, gloss, grand, grave, gray, gray-black, gray-brown, gray-colored, gray-drab, gray-green, gray-spotted, gray-toned, gray-white, grayed, grayish, grim, grim-faced, grim-visaged, griseous, grizzle, grizzled, grizzly, hard, hard-boiled, hardheaded, heavy, homely, homespun, ideative, imperturbable, imposing, inhibited, introspective, iridescent, iron-gray, judicious, kingly, lead-gray, leaden, lean, level-headed, levelheaded, light, livid, logical, long-faced, lordly, low-key, magisterial, majestic, matter-of-fact, measured, meditating, meditative, mellow, mental, mild, mild as milk, moderate, mother-of-pearl, mouse-colored, mouse-gray, mousy, museful, musing, nacreous, natural, neat, neutral, nigrescent, no-nonsense, noble, noetic, nonviolent, opalescent, open, pacifistic, pale, pastel, patinaed, peaceable, peaceful, pearl, pearl-gray, pearly, pensive, philosophical, placid, plain, plain-speaking, plain-spoken, pondering, portentous, practical, pragmatic, prehensive, princely, proper, prosaic, prosing, prosy, prudent, pure, queenly, quiet, rational, realistic, reasonable, recover, reflecting, reflective, refraining, regal, repressed, reserved, restrained, royal, ruminant, ruminating, ruminative, rustic, sad, sane, sedate, self-controlled, self-disciplined, self-possessed, semigloss, sensible, serene, serious, severe, silver, silver-gray, silvered, silvery, simple, simple-speaking, slate-colored, slaty, smoke-gray, smoky, sober-minded, sobersided, soft, soft-colored, soft-hued, softened, solemn, somber, sombrous, sound, spare, sparing, speculative, staid, stark, stately, statuesque, steady, steel-gray, steely, stinting, stone-colored, stone-faced, straight-faced, straightforward, subdued, subtle, swart, swarthy, sweet, tame, taupe, teetotal, temperate, tender, thinking, thought, thoughtful, together, tranquil, unadorned, unaffected, undrunk, undrunken, unexcited, unflustered, unidealistic, unimaginative, unimpassioned, uninebriate, uninebrious, unintoxicated, unperturbed, unpoetical, unruffled, unsmiling, untipsy, unvarnished, venerable, weighty, well-balanced, wistful, worthy
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