1. Temperate in the use of spirituous liquors; habitually temperate; as, a sober man. That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy name. (bk. Of Com. Prayer)
2. Not intoxicated or excited by spirituous liquors; as, the sot may at times be sober.
3. Not mad or insane; not wild, visionary, or heated with passion; exercising cool, dispassionate reason; self-controlled; self-possessed. There was not a sober person to be had; all was tempestuous and blustering. No sober man would put himself into danger for the applause of escaping without breaking his neck. (Dryden)
4. Not proceeding from, or attended with, passion; calm; as, sober judgment; a man in his sober senses.
5. Serious or subdued in demeanor, habit, appearance, or colour; solemn; grave; sedate. What parts gay France from sober Spain? (prior) See her sober over a sampler, or gay over a jointed baby. (pope) Twilight gray Had in her sober livery all things clad. (milton)
Synonym: grave, temperate, abstinent, abstemious, moderate, regular, steady, calm, quiet, cool, collected, dispassionate, unimpassioned, sedate, staid, serious, solemn, somber. See Grave.
Origin: OE. Sobre, F. Sobre, from L. Sobrius, probably from a prefix so- expressing separation – ebrius drunken. Cf. Ebriety.