• (RP) IPA: /ˈsɒmbə/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈsɑmbɚ/

sombre (comparative sombrer, superlative sombrest) (Britain, Canada)

  1. Dark; gloomy; shadowy, dimly lit.
    • 2015, Hermann Kauders, Before The Cock Crows (ISBN 9781326191337), page 9:
      The lady led him into a sombre hallway and disappeared. A moment later the windowless chamber was illuminated by the entry of a heavenly creature emitting a radiance prone to pierce the heart of any youth exposed to it.
  2. Dull or dark in colour or brightness.
    • 1877, The Black Band; or, The Mysteries of Midnight, page 47:
      His tall and slender figure, dressed in sombre black, his hair of that peculiar reddish auburn so rarely seen, his flashing black eyes, in which a fitful fire seemed for ever burning; all combined to give something almost of a demoniac air ...
  3. Melancholy, gloomy, dreary, dismal; grim.
    • The dinner was silent and sombre; happily it was also short.
    • 2012, Peter Turnbull, Aftermath, Severn House Publishers Ltd (ISBN 9781780101941)
      A sombre mood, very sombre in fact, thought Hennessey, as he stood against the wall observing the procedure for the police. He had not known a mood more sombre to have previously descended on the room.
  4. Grave; extremely serious.
    a sombre situation
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

sombre (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Gloom; obscurity; duskiness.

sombre (sombres, present participle sombring; past and past participle sombred)

  1. To make sombre or dark; to make shady.

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