sombre

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See also: sombré

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French sombre (dark), from Old French sombre, from a verb *sombrer or Latin sub- + umbra. Compare Spanish sombra (shade; dark part of a picture; ghost).[1][2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sombre (comparative sombrer, superlative sombrest) (British spelling, Canadian spelling)

  1. Dark; gloomy; shadowy, dimly lit.
    • 2015, Hermann Kauders, Before The Cock Crows (→ISBN), 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. Melancholic, gloomy, dreary, dismal; grim.
    • 1845, B[enjamin] Disraeli, Sybil; or The Two Nations. [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 1204533024:
      The dinner was silent and sombre; happily it was also short.
    • 2012, Peter Turnbull, Aftermath, Severn House Publishers Ltd (→ISBN)
      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

Alternative forms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

sombre (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Gloom; obscurity; duskiness.

Verb[edit]

sombre (third-person singular simple present sombres, present participle sombring, simple past and past participle sombred)

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ sombre”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “sombre”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French sombre, likely from Latin sub umbra (in/under the shade); compare Spanish and Portuguese sombra (shade, shadow). Possibly derived through a verb *sombrer, from a Vulgar Latin *subumbrāre (to shade, enshadow), though this does not seem necessary. Compare also Old French essombre, with a different prefix.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

sombre (plural sombres)

  1. dark
    Synonyms: foncé, obscur
    Antonym: clair
  2. (derogatory) right, damn, bloody
    un sombre crétina prize idiot, a complete idiot, an unspeakable imbecile

Related terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • English: sombre

Verb[edit]

sombre

  1. inflection of sombrer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Norman[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French sombre, from a verb *sombrer (from a Vulgar Latin *subumbrāre), or from Latin sub (under) + umbra (shadow).

Adjective[edit]

sombre m or f

  1. (Jersey) sombre, dark

Spanish[edit]

Verb[edit]

sombre

  1. inflection of sombrar:
    1. first-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular present subjunctive
    3. third-person singular imperative