Definition of sober in English:

sober

adjective

  • 1Not affected by alcohol; not drunk.

    • ‘The tour was fascinating for those of us that remained sober enough to care.’
    • ‘When sober, the man was one of the finest actors in the world.’
    • ‘He wouldn't have asked even if she had been completely sober.’
    • ‘You must be relatively sober or they'll discount the act as drunken foolishness.’
    • ‘I got my bearings reasonably quickly, though, despite spending more time drunk than sober in the city centre.’
    • ‘People recognize me more when they're drunk than when they're sober.’
    • ‘It was a pretty good night, even if, towards the end, I (being one of the more sober people there) had to nurse a few people who had drunk a little more than they should have.’
    • ‘Much alcohol was consumed, yet I have a ridiculously high alcohol tolerance so remained very sober.’
    • ‘He turned out to be an abusive drunk that couldn't apologize once sober (the abuse was only verbal).’
    • ‘The rhythm is perfect for drunk morons who can't dance even when sober.’
    • ‘Detectives said she had consumed only a small amount of alcohol and had been sober at the end of the evening.’
    • ‘Trust me, I've been around a few drunks and being sober and standing there trying to understand what they are saying is hard enough.’
    • ‘He emphasised that anyone who is knowingly drunk is not served but anyone who is sober is entitled to purchase alcohol regardless of his or her appearance or demeanour.’
    • ‘I didn't even care that I had to stay sober to drive.’
    • ‘Drunk or sober, he was driven by a manic energy and impatience that made him a difficult friend and an almost impossible husband and father.’
    • ‘It's like watching a sober guy walk his drunk friend home; just one stumble and they both hit the sidewalk.’
    • ‘If you didn't know me, you'd think I was completely sober.’
    • ‘I'm worryingly sober, despite a rather copious amount of alcohol consumed.’
    • ‘I laid in bed last night, totally sober, praying for alcohol to fall out of the sky and into my mouth.’
    • ‘Two, Sadie's a drunk and not a very good singer, sober or otherwise.’
    not drunk, not intoxicated, clear-headed, as sober as a judge
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    1. 1.1 Serious, sensible, and solemn.
      ‘a sober view of life’
      ‘his expression became sober’
      • ‘Policies have to be reformulated and alliances rebuilt in a serious, transparent and sober manner.’
      • ‘Their manifesto is sensible and sober, identifying issues that concern real people…’
      • ‘Only that kind of serious, sober, independent reporting can give the public the insights into American business it now knows it needs to learn.’
      • ‘In recent years, a series of very sober and real statistics have surfaced.’
      • ‘Thanks for your sober and clearheaded assessment of the situation and its significance.’
      • ‘His expression was perfectly sober, and he didn't sound anything but serious.’
      • ‘If we are true to the principle that the measure of a democracy is the depth and scope of participation enjoyed by its citizens, then celebration needs to be tempered by sober reflection.’
      • ‘They provide a careful, sober assessment of the biological story in all its complexity.’
      • ‘These positive emotions are not at all out of place, but need to be tempered by the sober realization that the potential for injury is ever present.’
      • ‘She's very serious and very sober and as an actor she has a lot of technique and understanding of what's she doing.’
      • ‘Instead, such a point should be one for sober and serious analysis of how we can address some of our key weaknesses and lay the foundations for future growth.’
      • ‘That brought everyone back into a serious and sober mood.’
      • ‘This resolution is sensible, it is sober, it is realistic.’
      • ‘With slow tempos predominating, they are sober, even solemn works, but hardly funereal, and never monotonous.’
      • ‘Sunday mornings were solemn, and worship, although often grand and glorious, was also serious and sober.’
      • ‘Anyone undertaking a sober assessment of our drug and alcohol laws would conclude that they are thoroughly inconsistent.’
      • ‘As long as they had known Ian, they had seen him cheerful and smiling - perhaps quiet or sober during serious moments, but always ready with a smile.’
      • ‘I know this chapter was more serious and sober… but I still hope it was okay!’
      • ‘For this he needs courage above all, and a sober, clearheaded approach to sport, to his own fame and that of others.’
      • ‘The coverage was serious, it was sober, it was comprehensive, and the press really seemed in tune with the surge of patriotism in the country.’
      serious, sensible, solemn, thoughtful, grave, sombre, severe, earnest, sedate, staid, dignified, steady, level-headed, serious-minded, businesslike, down-to-earth, commonsensical, pragmatic, self-controlled, restrained, conservative
      unemotional, dispassionate
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    2. 1.2 Free from alcoholism; not habitually drinking alcohol.
      ‘I've been clean and sober for five years’
      • ‘She subsequently quit drinking and remained sober and active in her church.’
      • ‘After that terrible drunken spree he managed to stay sober for three months.’
      • ‘If you're an alcoholic trying to stay sober, you don't go into a bar.’
      • ‘After getting sober, I had embarked on a vaguely defined spiritual journey.’
      • ‘You say you love your children and that will keep you sober.’
      • ‘Twelve percent of the people that go into AA are sober for a year.’
      • ‘I personally think you ought to wait until at least a year after you become clean and sober to stop smoking.’
      • ‘Despite a hard-drinking reputation, the desire to perform kept him sober.’
      • ‘I've been sober for twenty years and now I'm back on the road.’
      • ‘I became heavily addicted to alcohol and drugs and then I got sober.’
      • ‘Andrew came home sober and cocaine free, much to the pleasure of my parents.’
      • ‘One of the things that Marc and I were talking about during the break is something that I feel is very important and one of the reasons why some people can't stay sober.’
      • ‘He had been sober for about a year but was depressed and afraid that it would precipitate a relapse.’
      • ‘As Alice leaves recovery, the real work of staying sober and learning about herself begins.’
      • ‘I think it was some former drunk who said the awful thing about being sober is that when you wake up in the morning you know that's the best it's going to get all day.’
      • ‘When they worked for me, they stayed relatively sober.’
      • ‘She is also an alcoholic who has also been sober for more than seven years.’
      • ‘With treatment, one thing is clear, the longer a person abstains from alcohol the more likely he or she will stay sober.’
      • ‘Sober for 13 months, he spent that morning at a Crystal Meth Anonymous meeting.’
      • ‘Now sober for the past eight years, he has chronicled his battles in his autobiography.’
    3. 1.3 Muted in color.
      ‘a sober gray suit’
      • ‘Fabrics embellished with elegant cuts, graceful falls and rich hues to gracious and sober tones are those best suited for the special occasions.’
      • ‘Trouser suits and sober colours probably describe me best.’
      • ‘A sober brick building, unpretentious in scale and design, lies modestly low among lawns at the end of a road with playing fields on either side.’
      • ‘In a sober dark trouser suit and sensible walking shoes, she ticks the names off the electoral list on her clipboard.’
      • ‘Mostly they wear sober suits but on special occasions can be seen in fancy dress.’
      • ‘The sober dark suits and flowing robes of 34 ministers and their minders have long since left for the airport.’
      • ‘As other women are pulling on their veils she walks past us in a plain black headscarf and a sober dark ensemble.’
      • ‘Others marked the occasion with sober suits and black ties.’
      • ‘By adopting the sober, plain attire of the butterfly's closest relative, the former world number one was a man transformed.’
      • ‘I'm later struck by how she's wearing bright red and green outfits in the cabinet photos on the wall downstairs when all the boys are in sober suits.’
      • ‘‘I think I look a bit silly,’ he said as he surveyed the more sober colours surrounding the entrance to the County Stand.’
      • ‘Observing the industrious lads is a 50-ish man in a sober wool suit.’
      • ‘He's dressed in a dark three-piece suit and a sober tie.’
      • ‘The uniforms may have been replaced by sober suits, but the buzzcuts and the brightly polished shoes remained.’
      • ‘We go into meetings and there's me in a sober business suit, and Sarah, apologising for her outrageous T-shirt.’
      • ‘Who can resist a peek at the salaciousness seething behind the sober suits and marble halls of American government?’
      • ‘Kennedy, dressed in a sober grey suit, blushed as the press urged him to kiss his wife on the lips.’
      • ‘The classroom, painted in its sober colours of beige and black, is half-full.’
      • ‘The nominee was in a sober suit with the expected white shirt and red tie.’
      sombre, restrained, subdued, severe, austere
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verb

  • 1Make or become sober after drinking alcohol.

    with object ‘that coffee sobered him up’
    no object ‘I ought to sober up a bit’
    • ‘I began to sober down a bit and the world wasn't spinning.’
    • ‘And that, as I start to sober up and think it might be a good idea to get to bed before I start to regret writing this and delete it before posting, is probably my point.’
    • ‘She was intending to leave him there to sober up and come back to his senses.’
    • ‘If drivers are very drunk, they will be locked in the cells to sober up.’
    • ‘One particular Monday morning his mates grabbed him and, after tying him to one of the sails, took him up to the top, a height of 100 ft, and left him there to sober up.’
    • ‘Two were taken to Tauranga police station to sober up before being released.’
    • ‘You'd have to wait till you sober up to drive OR wait for someone to drive you!’
    • ‘He was left in a cell to sober up, released Saturday morning and three hours later was arrested again with an alcohol level that usually causes loss of bladder control and unconsciousness.’
    • ‘The shelter, which will be a haven for intoxicated people to sober up overnight, will share premises in Larkin Street with Geraldton Street Patrol.’
    • ‘Many players had to sober up from a night in the French Quarter.’
    • ‘Well, I had to get my beer drinking done quickly, so that I could sober up soon enough to return the van.’
    • ‘It is entirely acceptable to have a lie-down in the afternoon to sober up after lunch and prepare for more drinking at dinner.’
    • ‘Who would she have to count on if I was sitting in a café, drinking mass amounts of coffee and trying to sober up?’
    • ‘Fortunately, though, Michael also looked as if he'd sobered up a bit.’
    • ‘David defended himself, hearing the pathetic tone himself, now that he was beginning to sober up.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure I didn't stop for long enough to sober up.’
    • ‘Two doormen rush in to carry him out and he is duly removed, embarrassed and ashamed, left to sober up on the pavements outside the bar.’
    • ‘When I'm not working, I go out for lavish lunches with my friends, drink too much, and spend the afternoons trying to sober up.’
    • ‘Unfortunately ninety minutes wasn't enough to let the alcohol drain from my system - I think it must have been about 1000 before I started to sober up.’
    • ‘They were lodged in cells, allowed to sober up, issued public intoxication tags and driven back to their residence.’
    become sober, become clear-headed
    make sober, clear someone's head
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    1. 1.1 Make or become more serious, sensible, and solemn.
      no object ‘his expression sobered her’
      ‘a sobering thought’
      • ‘Statistical evidence of improved output has in other cases concealed a more sobering truth.’
      • ‘However, a few more sobering facts may change your opinion.’
      • ‘She looked up to see his grim expression and immediately sobered.’
      • ‘The commander's approach was sufficient to sober down the concerned group, which quickly waved the white flag.’
      • ‘But it's still sobering reminder of the perils of war.’
      • ‘Matthew began laughing mockingly before his expression sobered again.’
      • ‘He giggled, then sobered quickly and looked suspiciously out the window.’
      • ‘After the initial hype, however, users and hardware testers quickly sobered up.’
      • ‘I laughed before sobering up quickly again and faced her with a solemn expression.’
      • ‘Once again, Jordan realized they didn't like his joke and he quickly sobered up.’
      • ‘She giggled at that, and then sobered when she saw he was serious.’
      • ‘I sobered immediately, contrite at forgetting the seriousness of the conversation.’
      • ‘LeeAnne's expression immediately sobered up, and she excused herself to get some snacks.’
      • ‘His expression sobered a little, but he was still amused I could tell.’
      • ‘Trent saw that she was seriously hurting so he abruptly sobered.’
      • ‘Jade quickly sobered as she noticed his continued lack of expression.’
      • ‘If we are being urged to do anything here, it is to resist indulging too much in these reactions, to sober up a bit and contemplate the task ahead.’
      • ‘The play sobers up and offers serious moments, such as the anecdote of the Cuban immigrant's terrifying raft trip to the United States, leaving no doubt that beyond the humor there is a deep pool of thought and feeling.’
      become serious, become more serious, settle, settle down, relax, soften, steady, cool
      make serious, make more serious
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Origin

Middle English: from Old French sobre, from Latin sobrius.

Pronunciation

sober

/ˈsoʊbər//ˈsōbər/