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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
sobriety checkpoint
▪ Terry had many periods of sobriety, including eight years in the 1980s.
▪ And he'd been more unkind than usual in this odd period of sobriety.
▪ As for the teacher, in most eases, he behaves with a sense of sobriety.
▪ But, employing the commercial sobriety for which they were being approached, they all refused.
▪ His sobriety and temperament are questionable.
▪ Looking around the room, I was immediately struck by the sobriety of these undergraduates.
▪ Mortified by the twist in his sobriety, George decided to go the whole hog and join the Total Abstinence Society.
▪ That was our one break with sobriety.
▪ When he was through, Tip sensed the awkward sobriety that had overcome his table.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sobriety \So*bri"e*ty\, n. [L. sobrietas: cf. F. sobri['e]t['e]. See Sober.]

  1. Habitual soberness or temperance as to the use of spirituous liquors; as, a man of sobriety.

    Public sobriety is a relative duty.

  2. Habitual freedom from enthusiasm, inordinate passion, or overheated imagination; calmness; coolness; gravity; seriousness; as, the sobriety of riper years.

    Mirth makes them not mad, Nor sobriety sad.

    Syn: Soberness; temperance; abstinence; abstemiousness; moderation; regularity; steadness; calmness; coolness; sober-mindeness; sedateness; staidness; gravity; seriousness; solemnity.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1400, "moderation in indulgence," from Old French sobriete "sobriety, moderation" (Modern French sobrieté) or directly from Latin sobrietatem (nominative sobrietas), from sobrius (see sober (adj.)). Meaning "steadiness, gravity" is recorded from 1540s.


n. 1 The quality or state of being sober. 2 The quality or state of not being intoxicated. 3 The quality or state of being grave or earnestly thoughtful. 4 The state or quality of being unhurried; a state of calm. 5 A state of moderation or seriousness. 6 A state of modest in color or style. 7 Soundness of judgement.

  1. n. the state of being sober [syn: soberness] [ant: drunkenness]

  2. moderation in or abstinence from alcohol or drugs

  3. a manner that is serious and solemn [syn: graveness, gravity, soberness, somberness]

  4. abstaining from excess [syn: temperance]


Sobriety is the condition of not having any measurable levels or effects from mood-altering drugs. According to the World Health Organization lexicon of alcohol and drug terms, sobriety is continued abstinence from psychoactive drug use. Sobriety is also considered to be the natural state of a human being given at a birth. A person in a state of sobriety is considered sober. In a treatment setting, sobriety is the achieved goal of independence from consuming or craving mind-altering substances. As such, sustained abstinence is a prerequisite for sobriety. Early in abstinence, residual effects of mind-altering substances can preclude sobriety. These effects are labeled "PAWS," or " post acute withdrawal syndrome." Someone who abstains, but has a latent desire to resume use, is not considered truly sober. An abstainer may be subconsciously motivated to resume drug use, but for a variety of reasons, abstains (e.g. a medical or legal concern precluding use). Sobriety has more specific meanings within specific contexts, such as the culture of many substance use recovery programs, law enforcement, and some schools of psychology. In some cases, sobriety implies achieving "life balance."

Usage examples of "sobriety".

As the Afanc approached, hanging its head in embarrassment, he schooled his features to sobriety and nodded in greeting to the gigantic lake-dweller.

But many public teachers, not content to treat the subject with this sobriety of reason, instead of presenting the careful conclusions of a conscientious analysis, have sought to strengthen their argument to the feelings by help of prodigious assumptions, assumptions hastily adopted, highly colored, and authoritatively urged.

It had an air of somewhat gloomy respectability, and was presided over by an angular lady whose appearance carried the suggestion that she must be in mourning for a near relation, since she wore a bombasine dress of sombre hue, without frills, or lace, or even a ribbon to lighten its sobriety.

Francisco shook his head, and Angelo reached into his poncho for an unmarked glass bottle, no doubt containing chicha, the local cure for sobriety and a functioning liver.

There was a certain mazy sobriety of demeanour about Mr Cupples all day long, as if in the presence of such serious things as books he was bound to be upon his good behaviour, and confine his dissipation to taking snuff in prodigious quantities.

In spite of my sobriety and economy I found myself in debt three months after my arrival, and I did not know where to turn for help.

But at a riper age we pause, and seek that our reason may be convinced, and frequently prefer a state of prosperity less extatic and elevated, because its very sobriety satisfies us that it will not slip suddenly from our grasp.

The abbot was a man of taste, for though he affected sobriety he had the choicest wines and the most delicious dishes on the table.

The lady seemed pleased, and was a match for him as far as drinking was concerned, while the two girls and myself only drank with sobriety.

It was a gala event, with gun salutes, parades, speeches, and, of course, jollily that exceeded the bounds of sobriety.

Switters since his digestive tract found arrack as combustible as pisco and since sobriety could be a useful ally in a hasty getaway.

I was out of my mind with sobriety, teetotalled I felt lightheaded, I felt downright drunk, eating dinner up here with this sicko who saw nothing in me but myself.

He became irregular in his sobriety and would launch into disconnected, hortatory speeches about such matters as space exploration.

In this condition of apprehensive sobriety we are able to see that the contents of literature, art, music -- even in some measure of divinity and school metaphysics -- are not sophistry and illusion, but simply those elements of experience which scientists chose to leave out of account, for the good reason that they had no intellectual methods for dealing with them.

Others, styled Aquarii, under guise of sobriety, offer nothing but water in this sacrament.