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solemn +‎ -ity, from Middle English solemnity (observance of formality and ceremony), frequently in the phrases in solemnity, with solemnity, which from Old French solemnite, from Latin sollemnitās, from sollemnis. (Compare solemn.)[1]


  • IPA(key): /səˈlɛmnɪti/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: so‧lem‧ni‧ty


solemnity (countable and uncountable, plural solemnities)

  1. The quality of being deeply serious and sober or solemn.
    the solemnity of a funeral
  2. An instance or example of solemn behavior; a rite or ceremony performed with reverence.
    • 1703, Alexander Pope, transl., “The Thebais of Statius”, in The Works of Alexander Pope, London: H. Lintont et al., published 1751:
      Great was the cause; our old solemnities / From no blind zeal or fond tradition rise, / But saved from death, our Argives yearly pay / These grateful honours to the god of day.
    • April 17, 1707, Francis Atterbury, a sermon
      The forms and solemnities of the last judgment.
  3. (Catholicism) A feast day of the highest rank celebrating a mystery of faith such as the Trinity, an event in the life of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or another important saint.
  4. (law) A solemn or formal observance; proceeding according to due form; the formality which is necessary to render a thing done valid.
  5. (obsolete) A celebration or festivity.



  1. ^ “solemnity” in The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2005