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Somber   /sˈɑmbər/   Listen
Somber

adjective
1.
Lacking brightness or color; dull.  Synonyms: drab, sober, sombre.  "Sober Puritan grey" , "Children in somber brown clothes"
2.
Grave or even gloomy in character.  Synonyms: melancholy, sombre.  "A suit of somber black" , "A somber mood"



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"Somber" Quotes from Famous Books



... older artists did not welcome. Constable and the men of the Barbizon school realized for the first time that outdoor conditions were totally different from the studio atmosphere, and while the work of such men as Corot, Millet, Daubigny, Rousseau, and Diaz is only slightly removed from the somber brown of the studio type, it recognizes a new aspect of things which was to be much farther developed than they ever dreamed. Just as Constable shocked his contemporaries by his - for that time - vivid outdoor blues and greens, so ...
— The Galleries of the Exposition • Eugen Neuhaus

... in her blue eyes and her parted lips. She looked at him in utter dismay. No longer was he the debonair favorite of the High School. In his somber eyes, his thin cold lips, his tense shoulders, the young girl saw the savage. She looked from Charlie to the familiar garden, to Adam, scratching fleas, and beyond to the quiet herds in the Norton ...
— Lydia of the Pines • Honore Willsie Morrow

... made the Rocky Mountain country familiar and contiguous, I may say, to the whole world; but the somber canon, the bald and blackened cliff, the velvety park and the snowy, silent peak that forever rests against the soft, blue sky, are ever new. The foamy green of the torrent has whirled past the giant walls of nature's mighty fortress myriads of years, perhaps, and the stars have looked ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... churchyards; and he soon began to take the little girl with him on such strolls. But he discovered, much to his amazement, that though she listened with avidity to the tales he told her of the romantic and mysterious events that had occurred within the somber ruins with which the countryside was liberally endowed, she was reluctant to explore those ruins or wander among the graves where he delighted to resort. At first he was inclined to ascribe her reluctance to weak and sentimental timidity, but he speedily found ...
— Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters • H. Addington Bruce

... down from the Somme front by Red Cross trains, arriving in endless succession, and packed with maimed and mangled men. German military policemen formed cordons round the railway stations, pushed back civilians who came to stare with somber eyes at these blanketed bundles of living flesh, but when the ambulances rumbled through the streets toward the hospitals—long processions of them, with the soles of men's boots turned up over the stretchers on which they ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... and feeling—in the whole melancholy history of the race—where tears and grief, the hard seriousness of life and the terrible and speedy certainty of our common fate of suffering and of death, make somber the master-cord of existence. And the great orator must reflect the deeper ...
— The Young Man and the World • Albert J. Beveridge

... his lips to speak, hesitated, looked away from Bostil, and finally said, "No, it sure ain't." Then he turned and walked away, head bent in sober thought. Bostil came toward the open door where Lucy stood. He looked somber. At her greeting he ...
— Wildfire • Zane Grey

... in the convent were peculiarly calculated to produce an indelible impression upon a mind so imaginative. The chapel for prayer, with its somber twilight and its dimly-burning tapers; the dirges which the organ breathed upon the trembling ear; the imposing pageant of prayer and praise, with the blended costumes of monks and hooded nuns; the knell which tolled the requiem of ...
— Madame Roland, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... mountain, the fresh breeze fanned his brow, heated with the warm day's labor, and he walked Dick along, drinking in once more with genuine joy the grandeur of the forests robed in silver light. Just beyond Mike Hennessy's, as he turned into the main road, clouds obscured the moon and a somber pall fell over the road. He felt to see that his treasure was safe, and urged Dick into ...
— The Transformation of Job - A Tale of the High Sierras • Frederick Vining Fisher

... conjured up elements that speak to the heart of every reader. The hand of fate clutches hold of all the characters. When Eustacia fails to go to the door and admit her husband's mother she sets in motion events that bring swift ruin upon her as well as upon others. At every turn of the story the somber Egdon heath looms in the background, more real than any character in the romance, a sinister force that seems to sweep the characters on to their doom. Tess is more appealing than any other of ...
— Modern English Books of Power • George Hamlin Fitch

... lying there so prone and pale was dead? Had such loveliness aught to do with life or death? Ah! sweet lady, dear heart, how tired she was, how deadly tired! From where he stood he could see with intolerable anguish the somber rings around her eyes and the violet shadows on the lids, her folded hands and the straight, meek line to the feet. And her poor wan face with its wistful, pitiful little smile was turned half-aside on the delicate throat, as if in a last appeal: Leave me now, O Florentines, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... except where it was brushed away from the foot-path, it lay white and unbroken, the black trunks of the trees among it looking like pillars of ebony in the ivory-paved courts of a temple. Up in the sky winter was passing with all his somber train, the clouds flying rapidly in great grotesque masses, and seeming to touch the tops of the trees like a ...
— The Hallam Succession • Amelia Edith Barr

... vast arid plain, a line of trees marked the course of the Viorne, beyond which rose the hills of Sainte-Marthe, red fields planted with olive trees, supported on terraces by walls of uncemented stones and crowned by somber pine woods—broad amphitheaters, bare and desolate, corroded by the heats of summer, of the color of old baked brick, which this fringe of dark verdure, standing out against the background of the sky, ...
— Doctor Pascal • Emile Zola

... fame of the departed one, that wretched fame that had cost her so many tears, and now grew day by day, like a magnificent flower nourished by the black earth of the tomb, she was to be seen draped in her long somber veils holding interviews with theatrical managers and publishers, busying herself in getting her husband's operas put again on the stage, superintending the printing of his posthumous works and unfinished manuscripts, ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VIII (of X) - Continental Europe II. • Various

... snow-shoes and fur had gone for the day to look after his traps, Claire washed up the tin dishes they used, and sat down before the fire opposite Lawrence. His head was in his hands and his face was somber. ...
— Claire - The Blind Love of a Blind Hero, By a Blind Author • Leslie Burton Blades

... thinner. There was a somber light in his eyes, and his lips were whitening. His step, once quick and sure, despite his infirmity, was now less certain. He had not slept since the night of Mercy's death. Determined never to encounter again the pains and terrors ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... known nothing of his life, have borne witness to this. It is directly at the root of his substance, and affects his manner only indirectly. It gives the sincerity to the constant spiritual hopefulness we are always conscious of, and which carries with it often, even when the expression is somber, a note of exultation in the victories of "the innate virtues" of man. And it is this, perhaps, that makes us feel his courage—not a self-courage, but a sympathetic one—courageous even to tenderness. It is the open courage of a kind heart, of not forcing opinions—a thing much needed when ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... the affairs of the New Nederlanders. While the honest burghers are smoking their pipes in somber security, and the privy councillors are snoring in the council chamber, while Peter the Headstrong is undauntedly making his way through the east country, in the confident hope by honest words and manly deeds to bring the grand council to ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... in ties, gloves or shoes; what does the woman whose heart and brain are completely engaged in relieving suffering care if she is not familiar with the latest novel, or the latest fashions in flounced pantalettes? Life is real, life is earnest, and this does not mean unduly solemn and somber, but that it deals with the real things rather than the paper-flower shows of the stage and the ...
— Quit Your Worrying! • George Wharton James

... as it is now, somber as a desert. The silence is solemn; we bated our breath; the lips shrank from speaking; aught except a prayer, or the melody of a Psalm, seemed out of place. The outlook on every side is without an inhabitant; yet, even here, the persecutor sought his prey, and ...
— Sketches of the Covenanters • J. C. McFeeters

... departure, Norma donned her warmest wraps and set out for a walk over to Lanarth. It was a dull afternoon following on a morning of uncertain brightness; dark clouds, heavy with snow, hung sullenly along the horizon; and above, the sky was of a somber, leaden hue. The air felt chill and clinging, like that of a vault; and heaven above, and earth beneath betrayed a severity of mood infinitely depressing. Norma shivered in spite of her heavy furs, and hurried on, burying her hands in ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... replied Therese cordially, "and a wise one too in guarding herself against a somber influence that I know," with a meaning glance at Hosmer, who was preparing to close ...
— At Fault • Kate Chopin

... immediate and revolutionary action of the people which can save France.... The movement of yesterday, if it had been successful ... could have saved Lyons and France.... I leave Lyons, dear friend, with a heart full of sadness and somber forebodings. I begin to think now that it is finished with France.... She will become a viceroyalty of Germany. In place of her living and real socialism,[G] we shall have the doctrinaire socialism ...
— Violence and the Labor Movement • Robert Hunter

... be sure, this uninviting stream, a couple of hundred miles further south, having united with the Grande, and formed the Rio Colorado, does indeed, by dint of burrowing deeper and deeper into the sunless chasms, become at last sublime. But here it gives no hint of its future somber glory. I remained awake till we had crossed Green River, to make sure that no striking scenery should be missed by sleep. But I got nothing for my pains except the moonlight on the muddy water; and next time I shall go ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 401, September 8, 1883 • Various

... he ran to meet the king, who had quitted at last his somber costume, and advanced resplendent in satin, feathers, and jewels. But at the instant he entered another door opened just opposite, and a second Henri III., clothed exactly like the first, appeared, so that the courtiers, who had run to meet the first, ...
— Chicot the Jester - [An abridged translation of "La dame de Monsoreau"] • Alexandre Dumas

... and looked quickly away. This girl was not like any woman he had known. Most of them were drab creatures with the spirit washed out of them. His sister had been an exception. She had had plenty of vitality, good looks and pride, but the somber shadow of her environment had not made for gayety. It was different with Pauline Roubideau. Though she had just escaped from terrible danger, laughter bubbled up in her soft throat, mirth rippled over her mobile little face. She expressed herself ...
— A Man Four-Square • William MacLeod Raine

... was reluctant in yielding; he eyed 'Poleon darkly, and there was both resentment and suspicion in his somber glance when he finally ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... There was an obviously somber tinge to Mr. Dyke's color scheme on the following afternoon, tending to an over-employment of black, when an impressive and noiseless roadster purred its way to the curb, there discharging a quite superb specimen ...
— From a Bench in Our Square • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... finishing its noonday feast when Miss Hortensia Price appeared. Miss Hortensia Price was straight and tall, with somber black eyes and thin, serious lips. Many of the children were greatly in awe of the dignified nurse; but Elsie Meyer was bold ...
— Polly of the Hospital Staff • Emma C. Dowd

... regarding old Rile Foster who had drawn apart from the rest and was eating his meal in solitude. The old man had taken a boot heel from his pocket and was studying it as if fascinated by the somber reflections it roused in him. Alden shook his head as he rose and moved ...
— The Settling of the Sage • Hal G. Evarts

... a rock near the notch and gazing at the slanting moonlight that spread across the somber canyon walls. A week had gone since he mailed his letter to Brand Williams, of the Moonstone, and Collie was still alive. Overland shifted his position, standing beside him the Winchester that had lain across his knees, and pulling his sombrero over his eyes. The notch made ...
— Overland Red - A Romance of the Moonstone Canon Trail • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... good—that feller," Bruce added, with somber eyes. "I ought to pull out of here. It's no use, we can't hit it off ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... care for her, to disapprove of her, to be willing that she should go out of her life,—there was the rub; and the fact that she should be considering it over a tea-table in Surrey while Imogen was battling with all the somber accompaniments of grief in New York, challenged her not to deny some essential defect in her own maternity. She was an honest woman, and after her hour of thought she could not deny it, though she could not see clearly where ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... one hotel in that somber town of East Africa, and Miss Gregory, fronting the proprietor of it squarely, noted that he looked at her with something like amusement. She was a short woman of fifty, grey-haired and composed, and her pleasant ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... and scarcely had remounted when the minister rode slowly up over the ledge. He dismounted at the door and greeted the youngsters. They replied with cat-calls. Fowler stared at the group of robust young riders, his gray-bearded face somber, then he shook his ...
— Judith of the Godless Valley • Honore Willsie

... across the Neva, across the bridge where he had felt so elated a little while before, and saw the isles again he sighed heavily. "I thought I had got it all over with, so far as I was concerned, and now I don't know where it will stop." His eyes grew dark for a moment with somber thoughts and the vision of the Lady in Black rose before him; then he shook his head, filled his pipe, lighted it, dried a tear that had been caused doubtless by a little smoke in his eye, and stopped sentimentalizing. A quarter of an hour later he gave a true ...
— The Secret of the Night • Gaston Leroux

... room were grim and forbidding of aspect. The tapestry covering them in places was old and of somber design. There were two doors opening to the room: one on the right and one on the left. At the far side of the room there was a deep-silled window with leaded panes through which a dreary ...
— Everychild - A Story Which The Old May Interpret to the Young and Which the Young May Interpret to the Old • Louis Dodge

... winds. Seen nearer and in detail, these mountains are all in delicious keeping with all of what the imagination in love with the fantastic, attracted by their more distant forms, could dream. Valleys, gorges, somber gaps, walls cut perpendicularly, rough or polished by water, cavities festooned with hanging stalactites and notched like Gothic sculptures—all make up a strange sight which cannot ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... The lakes were planes of polished turquoise, the rocks pure grays and browns and reds, the meadows emerald green, while the shining white patches of snow on the highest mountain slopes helped to blacken by contrast the somber clumps of pines that gathered thick wherever man had not disputed with the trees the tenancy of each foot ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... man, in an instant, seemed transformed, somber as death. She could not look at him, but she must ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... as he could see, was moored parallel with the abrupt brick shore of a very narrow canal, with somber, uninviting houses close on either hand. It was as if a ship were tied up along the curb of a street. Up and down the gang planks and back and forth upon the deck hurried men in blouses with great, clumsy wooden shoes upon their ...
— Tom Slade on a Transport • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... jungle, dark and gloomy—and very wet. Palm-like, the gigantic trees were, or fern-like, flinging clouds of feathery green foliage high against a somber sky of ...
— The Cosmic Express • John Stewart Williamson

... of a speech than he had made since Sylvie's arrival, and it was not just the speech, in tone or manner, of a fourteen-year-old boy. There was a new somber note in his voice, too—some of the youthful quality had gone out of it. Sylvie took a step toward him, to thank him, perhaps, perhaps to satisfy, by laying her hand upon him, a sudden bewilderment; but in her blindness she stumbled on the edge of the hearth, and to save her from falling, ...
— Snow-Blind • Katharine Newlin Burt

... and, fetching her crape hat from the shelf, began pinning it on before the glass. Its somber ugliness accorded ill with the brightness of her hair, and somehow her hair seemed to turn mourning ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... dreams and They have not come near me. I begin to think Dr. Owen is right. I have been suffering from nervous disturbances caused by shell shock, and I am on the road to recovery. I need rest and recreation, especially recreation—anything to divert my mind from fears and somber thoughts. I say this to Seraphine when she warns me that I must not go to Roberta's party. She says I will go at my great peril, but I refuse to entertain these fears. I crave the gaiety and insouciance of Roberta's care-free Bohemians. Besides, I shall see Christopher. ...
— Possessed • Cleveland Moffett

... more under the lee of the cliff, but toward noon they built their wooden wall another foot higher, driven to the work by the threatening aspect of the sky, which turned to a somber brown. The wind sprang up again, and it had ...
— The Masters of the Peaks - A Story of the Great North Woods • Joseph A. Altsheler

... out upon the churning, black sheet of water before them. The lake, lying amid those frowning, wooded hills, was somber enough at all times, and a quiet gloom pervaded it which imparted a rare charm. But now, in the grip of the rain and wind, the enshrouding night made the lake seem like a place haunted, and the ...
— Tom Slade's Double Dare • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... card-reader. Camillo said that he had come to consult her, and she bade him enter. Thence they climbed to the attic by a staircase even worse than the first and buried in deeper gloom. At the top there was a garret, ill lighted by a small window. Old furniture, somber walls, and an air of poverty augmented, rather than destroyed, the ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... the edge of the bed and lighted a cigarette. Cheyenne stood as though waiting for him to leave. There was something queer about Cheyenne. His eyes were somber, his manner stiff and unnatural. ...
— Partners of Chance • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... by a fine spectacle, a truly noble subject for a painter. At the other end of the field a fine-looking youth was driving a magnificent team of four pairs of young oxen, through whose somber coats glanced a ruddy, glow-like name. They had the short, curry heads that belong to the wild bull, the same large, fierce eyes and jerky movements; they worked in an abrupt, nervous way that showed how they still rebelled against ...
— The Devil's Pool • George Sand

... factory whistle bellowed forth its shrill, roaring, trembling noises into the smoke-begrimed and greasy atmosphere of the workingmen's suburb; and obedient to the summons of the power of steam, people poured out of little gray houses into the street. With somber faces they hastened forward like frightened roaches, their muscles stiff from insufficient sleep. In the chill morning twilight they walked through the narrow, unpaved street to the tall stone cage that waited for them with ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... large bay lay extended before me, as far as my eyes could reach, between two hills which were lost to sight in the mist; and in the middle of this immense yellow bay, under a clear, golden sky, a peculiar hill rose up, somber and pointed in the midst of the sand. The sun had just disappeared, and under the still flaming sky stood out the outline of that fantastic rock which bears on its ...
— Selected Writings of Guy de Maupassant • Guy de Maupassant

... Norton, and a Maysville attorney named Hyatt met on horseback in front of the Harding place. Having business matters to discuss, they hitched their animals and going to the house sat on the porch to talk. Some humorous reference to the somber reputation of the place was made and forgotten as soon as uttered, and they talked of their business affairs until it grew almost dark. The evening was ...
— Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories • Ambrose Bierce

... corners and strange-looking escarpments of the rock. Beyond the circle that the firelight brought luridly to life, the buttes in the moonlight had their own still magic. Against the shining silver of the cliffs the pines showed dark and somber, and when the branches stirred, the bright light danced on the ground making it appear like ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... doctor, as I found out, he was a man of excellent habits, and the whole company was made up of good straight boys, jolly chirping vagabonds like myself. It was delightful to bowl over the country in that way. I laughed all the time. Miles and miles of somber landscape were made bright with merry song, and when the sun shone and all the golden summer lay spread out before us, it was glorious just to drift on through it like a wisp, of thistle-down, careless ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... town that was Back Home to Eddie would have approved of her. One day there appeared a pair of lovesick lavenders, but they never again bloomed. Evidently she was the kind of a girl who would be firm about those. Then, for a time—for two long weeks—E. G.'s hose were black; somber, mournful, unrelieved black. They had quarreled. After that they brightened. They became numerous, and varied. There was about them something triumphant, ecstatic. They rose to ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... to a close, and the high walls, rising up on each side, so shut out the rays of the sun, that a somber twilight gloom filled Devil's Pass; a deep, oppressive heaviness was in the atmosphere, that seemed in keeping with the place which had been the scene of so many tragedies, which was now entered with more or less misgiving upon the part of the ...
— Through Apache Lands • R. H. Jayne

... squaw-bush; the wild sunflower lent its golden hue to intensify the sharp contrasts. Off to the westward lay the lake, making an impressive, uninviting picture in its severe, unliving beauty; from its blue wastes somber peaks rose as precipitous islands, and about the shores of this dead sea were saline flats that told of the scorching heat and thirsty atmosphere of this parched region. A turbid river ran from south to north athwart the valley, "dividing it in twain," as a historian of the day has written, ...
— The Story of "Mormonism" • James E. Talmage

... somber and solitary than they had done before. The new snow was deeper, and it was falling faster; and, besides, as it was now nearly sundown, there was only a gloomy sort of twilight, under the trees. Jonas and Josey loaded the sled as fast as they could. They put on the last of the ...
— Jonas on a Farm in Winter • Jacob Abbott

... and refined are the love scenes—at the ball and in the garden—between the dashing prince-lover in search of his pleasure and the devoted girl with her heart in her eyes, on her lips, in her hand. Behind them, always like a tragic fate, the somber figure of the Spagnoletto, and over all the glow and color ...
— The Poems of Emma Lazarus - Vol. I (of II.), Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic • Emma Lazarus

... man, breaking the silence abruptly, his somber eyes upon Betty, "there is but one thing left for me now to do. I shall surrender to the authorities—a thing which I should have done long ago. Or," he added grimly, "you might rather go with me now. If you left me I might attempt to ...
— The Outdoor Girls in the Saddle - Or, The Girl Miner of Gold Run • Laura Lee Hope

... away when Mrs. Hawkins entered. She was clad in somber black now, and her cheeks flamed scarlet ...
— Mr. Hawkins' Humorous Adventures • Edgar Franklin

... over London; at five o'clock in the Victoria Station the dawn had not penetrated, and the great globes of electricity in the murky ceiling shed an uncertain light. Through the usual somber and preoccupied din of the early morning traffic, came the steady, rhythmic tread of marching feet. Lost in the smoke and fog, a band ...
— Four Days - The Story of a War Marriage • Hetty Hemenway

... conversationalist and companion. He was educated, cultured, and witty, although evidently lacking in humor. Possibly this came from the fact that he had so long and so earnestly regarded and meditated on the somber side of life. He seemed to fascinate Juanita, who ...
— Frank Merriwell's Son - A Chip Off the Old Block • Burt L. Standish

... less dark than the furnace room, was even more somber. A pallid light shone in through the two windows that looked into the patio, their panes encrusted with flour dust. There were always some ten or twelve men in shirt-sleeves, brandishing their arms desperately over the troughs, and in the back of the room a she-mule ...
— The Quest • Pio Baroja

... out of the first cabin gangway; tunneled by a somber awning, streamed the first survivors. A young woman, hatless, her light brown hair disordered and the leaden weight of crushing sorrow heavy upon eyes and sensitive mouth, was in the van. She stopped, perplexed, almost ready to drop with terror and exhaustion, and was ...
— Sinking of the Titanic - and Great Sea Disasters • Various

... soft and pleasing in one part as dark and gloomy and terrible in another. The poisoned chalice, the glittering dagger suspended over the head of the sleeper; wizards and phantoms with terrific masks, those half-dim shadows more alarming than the approach of fire or the somber face of midnight, these, and such as these, he had made the companions of his more pleasing pictures. No sooner had the king entered his room than a cold shiver seemed to pass through him, and on Fouquet asking him the cause of it, the king replied, ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... of Jeremiah is not an agreeable one in a traditionally optimistic and forward-thrusting society, but those of us who care about the health of the world around us seem to be forced into it often in these times. Therefore let us look at somber matters. ...
— The Nation's River - The Department of the Interior Official Report on the Potomac • United States Department of the Interior

... Chuff rode out into the middle of the street on his famous coal-black charger, John Barleycorn. There was a long hush. Then, with a wave of his hand, he gave the signal. One hundred bands burst into the somber and clanging strains of "The Face on the Bar-Room Floor." The great parade ...
— In the Sweet Dry and Dry • Christopher Morley

... he walked through the woods, saw it behind a veining of black branches. Though a camper and impatient to be off like the rest, he did not feel the elation that shone on their watching faces. His was held in a somber abstraction. Just behind him, in an opening under the straight, white blossoming of dogwood trees, was a new-made grave. The raw earth about it showed the prints of his feet, for he had been standing by it thinking of the man ...
— The Emigrant Trail • Geraldine Bonner

... alike, she thinks; they have both the same heavy-lidded, blue-gray eyes, the same proud carriage of the head and stately presence; but the bright, sunshiny smile that greeted her from Hugh Redmond is certainly not reproduced on his father's somber face. Sir Wilfred looked ill and saddened; and evidently the report that ill-health had brought his researches to a ...
— Wee Wifie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... we passed was Castle Thunder, of bloody repute. This occupied the same place in Confederate history, that, the dungeons beneath the level of the water did in the annals of the Venetian Council of Ten. It was believed that if the bricks in its somber, dirt-grimed walls could speak, each could tell a separate story of a life deemed dangerous to the State that had gone down in night, at the behest of the ruthless Confederate authorities. It was confidently asserted that among the commoner occurrences ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... had. Try as she might she could not keep thoughts of Tom from creeping into her mind. Where was he to-night? Had he forgotten her? Mrs. Gray had not once mentioned his name to her, and she had not dared to ask for news of him. Her somber reflections were interrupted by Jean Brent and her aunt. A complete reconciliation had taken place. Miss Brent was now anxious to thank Grace for all she had done in her niece's behalf. They lingered briefly, then went on ...
— Grace Harlowe's Problem • Jessie Graham Flower

... of the marble. Only the light color play of its exterior would do against a placid blue sky to relieve the otherwise exceedingly simple rigidity of its massive forms of construction. To make an imitation of this great building in uncouth, somber, almost black pine logs of dubious proportions is hardly an artistically ...
— The Art of the Exposition • Eugen Neuhaus

... all the way by ship down the coast to San Diego and across the Sierra Madres by stage, and so on to this last overland travel by horseback, he had felt a retreating of the self that was tranquil and happy and a dominating of this unknown somber self, with its menacing possibilities. Yet despite a nameless regret and a loyalty to Oregon, when he lay in his blankets he had to confess a keen interest in his adventurous future, a keen enjoyment ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... shadows, there was nothing somber in all this wild sea of pines. On the contrary, notwithstanding this was the winter season, the colors were remarkably beautiful. The shafts of the pine and libocedrus were brown and purple, and most of the foliage was well tinged with ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... In the somber Butterfield dining-room on Mt. Vernon Street, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Butterfield had almost finished dinner, when their pompous, plainly scandalized butler, standing beneath the severest of the severe Butterfield portraits, ...
— The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch • Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman) Porter

... "Wildbad Gastein," one of the most fashionable mountain-resorts. (Latin saying: "Gastuna—semper una" {Es giebt nur ein—Gastein.}) From the village of Lend the entrance to the Gastein Valley is made through {die Klamm} ({der Klammpa}), a profound and somber gorge in the limestone-rock, through which the river has forced ...
— Eingeschneit - Eine Studentengeschichte • Emil Frommel

... made poor Bernardine look strangely out of place in her plain gray cashmere dress, with its somber dark ribbons. ...
— Jolly Sally Pendleton - The Wife Who Was Not a Wife • Laura Jean Libbey

... house that overlooked the Pasig, Simoun turned his gaze toward the Walled City, which could be seen through the open windows, with its roofs of galvanized iron gleaming in the moonlight and its somber towers showing dull and gloomy in the midst of the serene night. He laid aside his blue goggles, and his white hair, like a frame of silver, surrounded his energetic bronzed features, dimly lighted by a lamp whose flame was dying out from lack of oil. Apparently wrapped ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... Ida Tarbell calls 'Restless women.' Money, and always have had it. Those hats were born in one of those exclusive little shops off the Avenue. Rich but somber. They think they're advanced, but they still resent the triumph of the motor-car over the horse. That girl can't call her soul her own. Good eyes, but too sad. He probably didn't ...
— Emma McChesney & Co. • Edna Ferber

... is a modern English picture which the genius of Hawthorne might have inspired. The painter calls it, "How they met themselves." A man and a woman, haggard and weary, wandering lost in a somber wood, suddenly meet the shadowy figures of a youth and a maid. Some mysterious fascination fixes the gaze and stills the hearts of the wanderers, and their amazement deepens into awe as they gradually recognize themselves as once they were; the soft ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... to get them out of the way, and in the end Jurgis saw them go into the chilling rooms with the rest of the meat, being carefully scattered here and there so that they could not be identified. When he came home that night he was in a very somber mood, having begun to see at last how those might be right who had laughed at him ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... Journal des Debats, who had had the curiosity to investigate Georges' college days, "may be seen a restless-looking little boy, thinner and paler than the others, whose round black eyes seem to shine with a somber brilliance. These eyes, which, eight or ten years later, were to hunt and pursue so many enemy airplanes, are passionately self-willed. The same temperament is evident in a snapshot of this same period, in which Georges ...
— Georges Guynemer - Knight of the Air • Henry Bordeaux

... should slip up—" continued young Lewiston, wrapped in somber contemplation of his own affairs alone; he threw his arms outward with a gesture suddenly tragic in its intensity, paused an instant, then wrung Justin's hand ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... woman who had determined to give herself without love lay staring into the dusk. But she did not see the darkness. She did not see the grotesque and ghostly objects in the gloom. Nor did she see the somber shadows that came and went as the dying fire gained fitful strength. The woman saw the bright sun shining on the meadows and fields of the long ago. She saw again the scenes of her childhood. Again, ...
— Their Yesterdays • Harold Bell Wright

... Marble Faun" Hawthorne comes into his own again. Its central problem is one of those dark insoluble ones that he loves: the influence of a crime upon the development of a soul. Donatello, the Faun, is a charming young creature of the natural sunshine until his love for the somber Miriam tempts him to the commission of murder: then begins the growth of his mind and character. Perhaps the haunting power of the main theme of the book has contributed less to its fame than the felicity of its descriptions ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry

... horse I saw him mount and ride away under the low-hanging maples—watched him fairly out of sight in the green and gold twilight of the great forest before turning back to my lonely hearth and its somber reminders. ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... scene was tolerably plain to both of them. The little cleared space formed a natural amphitheater walled in by somber ranks of pines; and, standing higher, they could see over the heads of the clustering men. There was no difficulty in identifying the victim, the persecutor and the champion, for Weston stood stripped to blue shirt and trousers, with the big ax in ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... Canadian life, as the reader may well suppose, are necessarily tinctured with somewhat somber hues, imparted by the difficulties and privations with which, for so many years the writer had to struggle; but we should be sorry should these truthful pictures of scenes and characters, observed fifteen or twenty years ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... while the American civil war was at its height, might frequently have observed at the beautiful Theatre Lyrique, afterward burned by the Vandals of the Commune, a noticeable-looking man, of blonde complexion and tawny beard, clear-cut features, and large, bright, almost somber-looking eyes. As the opera of "Faust" progresses, his features eloquently express his varying emotions, now of approval, now of annoyance at different parts of the performance. M. Gounod is criticising the interpretation of the great opera, which suddenly ...
— Great Italian and French Composers • George T. Ferris

... no more. She became a somber girl and a drudge. The birds could not understand. They followed her through the woods, but she was silent, as if she had been stricken dumb, and her eyes always seemed eager to be shedding tears. Also, she was too busy to notice ...
— Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends • Gertrude Landa

... the humor is too abundant. Mysteries should be sedate and sober. There should be a pervasive atmosphere of horror and awe such as Poe manages to create. Humor is out of tone; it would be more artistic to preserve a somber note throughout. But I was a realist in those days, and in real life mysteries occur to real persons with their individual humors, and mysterious circumstances are apt to be complicated by comic. ...
— The Big Bow Mystery • I. Zangwill

... of her embrace exactly as he had accepted the gift of the blanket—in silence. There was a momentary lighting of his somber eyes, but no word, as, putting her quietly down upon the ground, he mounted the barebacked Prince and loped swiftly away ...
— Jessica, the Heiress • Evelyn Raymond

... wooded walls divides the Carlingford range from the mountains of Mourne. The great dark range thrusts itself forth against the sea in somber beauty, overhanging the wide strand of Dundrum Bay. The lesser bay, across whose bar the sea moans under the storm-winds, is dominated by the hill of Rudraige, named in honor of a hero of old days; but under the shadow of the hill stands a more ancient monument, ...
— Ireland, Historic and Picturesque • Charles Johnston

... a famous millionaire out of the country. Near by are displayed the exploitation of a lure for black-bass, strangely perforated (a man's reason hung on those pin-pricks), and a scrawled legend which seems to spell "Mercy" (two men's lives were sacrificed to that); while below them, set in somber black, is the funeral notice of a dog worth a million dollars; facing the call for a trombone-player which made a mayor, and the mathematical formula which saved a governor. But nowhere does the observer find any record of one of the Ad-Visor's most curious cases, ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... somber shade, Where once the huge portcullis swung sublime, 'Mid ivied battlements in ruin laid, Sole, sad memorials of the olden time, The Phantom held its way,—and though afraid Even of the owls that sung their vesper chime, Pale Nicholas pursued, its ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... once went tramping through the primeval forests, tearing down the branches of gigantic trees for food, and died in the dismal swamps of an unknown age. For a long time these strange creatures haunted my dreams, and this gloomy period formed a somber background to the joyous Now, filled with sunshine and roses and echoing with the gentle ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... the people of Lawrence with Governor Shannon did, however, have a somber and awful background. While this had been going on a boy had been murdered in the vicinity of Lawrence. Some young men rode out to see about it, and one of them was shot and killed. But a still more ghastly crime threw its baleful shadow over the people. It was perpetrated two days before the ...
— Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler • Pardee Butler

... done much to-day. I spent the morning brooding over the opening speech. It is somber and terrible, but I have not gotten it right. It must have a tread—a tread like an orchestra! Ah, how I wish I had an orchestra!—I would soon do it then—"So bist nun ...
— The Journal of Arthur Stirling - "The Valley of the Shadow" • Upton Sinclair

... obdurate and fast, With chain of summer, winter, spring and fall, Is bounden to the dim receding past; Time o'er my life has spread a somber pall, With sightless eyes I grope and clutch the air, My lot is now the hardest lot ...
— Mountain idylls, and Other Poems • Alfred Castner King

... the wide lawn the snow lay deep, Ridged o'er with many a drifty heap; The wind that through the pine trees sung The naked elm-boughs tossed and swung; While through the window, frosty-starred, Against the sunset purple barr'd, We saw the somber crow flit by, The hawks gray flock along the sky, The crested blue-jay flitting swift, The squirrel poising on the drift, Erect, alert, his broad gray tail, Set to the ...
— Graded Memory Selections • Various

... working around a furnace dimly suggested convey the idea of Industrial Fire in the last of the pictures. There is the same motif of cold in the sky and the fruits, intensified by the somber ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... sang a song together, which sounded splendidly within this vaulted cave, with all its wild re-echoings. When it ended, the boat glided slowly out of the cavern, and although they had enjoyed the somber magnificence they had left, they were all glad to be in the fresh air and cheerful ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7. - Scribner's Illustrated • Various

... dependent on our sensations and thoughts for its quality, but it in turn colors our entire mental life. It serves as a background or setting whose hue is reflected over all our thinking. Let the mood be somber and dark, and all the world looks gloomy; on the other hand, let the mood be bright and cheerful, and the world puts on ...
— The Mind and Its Education • George Herbert Betts

... work, instead of being clean and sharp, would suffer from over-conscientiousness. He might never finish an operation for fear his patient would bleed to death. Such a man may be the reverse of flippant, and yet he may actually enjoy his somber work. Cruel, bloodthirsty? Not at all. These men—the great surgeons—are as tender as children. But they love their work, they really care very deeply for their patients. The successful ones have the lighter touch and they have ...
— The Untroubled Mind • Herbert J. Hall

... all, the mark that reached down to their hearts' core was that of their faith, for in them dwelt the fear of God. Their religion may have been narrow, but no narrower than the moulds of their lives. It was the biggest thing in them. It may have taken a somber hue from their gloomy forests, but by reason of a sweet, gracious presence dwelling among them it grew in grace and sweetness ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... and a cheerless stream dropped down a dirty gutter. It had come from heaps of refuse, foul and forgotten; it had gathered upon its way things that were derelict, and went to somber drains unknown to man or the sun. It was this sullen stream as much as all other causes that had made me say in my heart that the town was vile, that Beauty was dead in ...
— A Dreamer's Tales • Lord Dunsany [Edward J. M. D. Plunkett]

... suddenly when at dusk Geoffrey rode home. In forecast of winter, a bitter breeze sighed across the heather and set the harsh grasses moaning eerily. The sky was somber overhead; scarred fell and towering pike had faded to blurs of dingy gray, and the ghostly whistling of curlew emphasized the emptiness of the darkening moor. The evening's mood suited Geoffrey's, ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... of John Beaudry were somber. He looked over his past with a strange feeling that he had lived his life and come to the end of it. He was not yet forty, a well-set, bow-legged man of medium height, in perfect health, sound as to every organ. From an old war wound ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... sternly and gloomily preoccupied with the darker features of religion exclusively. Winthrop corrects this judgment; he was a Puritan, though he was sunny and gentle; and there were many others who more or less resembled him. The reason that the somber type is the better known is partly because of its greater picturesqueness and singularity, and partly because the early life of New England was on the whole militant and aggressive, and therefore brought the rigid and ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... through a somber little hall, then found herself in a very large room draped with ivory colored cretonne patterned with butterflies in vivid shades. The furniture was ivory colored wood, and the carpet gray, with clusters of wild flowers, primrose, poppies, ...
— Nobody's Girl - (En Famille) • Hector Malot

... diseases which could be ascribed only to the will of God and met with resignation instead of skill, the succession of funerals as depressing as they were public and pervading—were well calculated to deepen the somber cast of the Puritan temper and accentuate the critical and introspective tendency of his mind. Inspection of one's own and one's neighbor's conduct was, indeed, always a Puritan duty; shut within the restricted horizon of a New England village, it became a necessity and almost a pleasure. When ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... was the abbess of Chelles, who appeared before her father, not surrounded by an elegant and profane court, but followed by six nuns dressed in black and holding torches. There was no sign of frivolity or of pleasure; nothing but the most somber apparel and the most severe aspect. The regent, however, suspected that he had been kept waiting while all this ...
— The Regent's Daughter • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... dusky, mysterious, sable, somber, dim, gloomy, obscure, shadowy, swart, dismal, murky, opaque, ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... breakfast her somber eyes lightened with a gleam of interest. She did not look at Ramon—Ramon who had told her many times how much he loved her, and yet could praise Jean Douglas for her riding. Ramon had declared that he would not care to come riding down that point ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... with my mother. I recollect wondering in all childish simplicity why he wrung his hands so over the death of a man he so hated and feared. Nor was it till years had passed and our mother had been laid in the grave and the house had settled into a gloom too heavy and somber for Reuben to endure, that I recognized in my father the signs of a settled remorse. These I endeavored to account for by the fact that he had been saved from what he looked upon as political death ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... name that reveals more as to the character of the Babylonian festivals is tashiltu, which is used as a synonym for 'joy, delight.' The festivals were indeed joyous occasions, marked by abundance of offerings and merry-making, though, as we shall see, the somber note in the rejoicings was not absent. The kings dedicate their temples and palaces amidst manifestation of rejoicing. They pray that the gods may occupy the dwellings prepared for them "in joy and jubilance,"[1534] and the reference ...
— The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria • Morris Jastrow

... went in a slow drizzle of rain which only added to the somber quiet of the city, and as the evening approached and wore on I felt myself caught in the irresistible tide of fearful anticipation which warned of the sixth appearance of the Head-hunter. The streets were deserted throughout the day, and with but few exceptions ...
— The Homicidal Diary • Earl Peirce

... seen, is not capable of such expansion. This is the factor of Land, or Natural Resources. It is the limitation of this factor which gives rise to what we have most of us heard of as The Law of Diminishing Returns. It is this that is the essence of the problem of Population, portrayed in somber hues more than a hundred years ago ...
— Supply and Demand • Hubert D. Henderson

... one of the handsomest rooms in the schloss. It was, perhaps, a little stately. There was a somber piece of tapestry opposite the foot of the bed, representing Cleopatra with the asps to her bosom; and other solemn classic scenes were displayed, a little faded, upon the other walls. But there was gold carving, and rich and varied color ...
— Carmilla • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... depressing prospect of the graves from the vicarage windows and makes the place seem less "a churchyard home" than when the Brontes inhabited it. The dwelling is of gray stone, two stories high, of plain and somber aspect. A wing is added, the little window-panes are replaced by larger squares, the stone floors are removed or concealed, curtains—forbidden by Mr. Bronte's dread of fire—shade the window, and the once bare interior is furbished and furnished ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors - Vol. II Great Britain And Ireland, Part Two • Francis W. Halsey

... moment, leaning the rifle against the depot end, to take the bright silk handkerchief from about his neck, as if he considered it as being too festive for the somber business before him. The station agent stood at the corner of the building, ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... the cider mill which the smugglers and pelota players frequent. There, he sits at a table, his cap still drawn over his eyes, with his friends: Arrochkoa, two or three others of the mountains and the somber Itchoua, their chief. ...
— Ramuntcho • Pierre Loti

... courage returned. From her wigwam Diane watched the silent village, wrapped in fog, wake to the busy life of the Glades. Somber-eyed little Indian lads carried water and gathered wood, fires brightened, there was a pleasant smell of pine in the morning air. Later, by Keela's fire, she furtively watched Philip ride forth with ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... Hermes and the Child with steady eyes. They were lit up rather faintly by a couple of wax candles placed on the writing-table. The light from these candles and from the fire made a delicate and soothing radiance in the room, which was plainly furnished, and almost somber in color. A very dim and cloudy purple-blue pervaded it, a very beautiful hue, but austere, and somehow suggestive of things ecclesiastical. On a small, black oak table at Rosamund's elbow two or three books were lying beside ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... better acquainted with the divinity imposed upon it by the Sibyls, it must have been quite embarrassed by the present of King Attalus. {52} The enthusiastic transports and the somber fanaticism of the Phrygian worship contrasted violently with the calm dignity and respectable reserve of the official religion, and excited the minds of the people to a dangerous degree. The emasculated Galli were the objects ...
— The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism • Franz Cumont

... "little lake." The clouds hung somber and dull with threatening rain, and a gentle breeze wafted to us now and again a bit of fragrance from the spruce-covered hills above us. Almost before I realized it we were at the rapid. Away to the westward stretched Grand Lake, deep and dark and still, with ...
— The Long Labrador Trail • Dillon Wallace

... In somber bitterness, the statue called Spencer Chambers the greatest threat to that liberty and freedom. For, the statue said, Spencer Chambers and Interplanetary Power were waging an economic war, a bloodless one, ...
— Empire • Clifford Donald Simak

... in a dimly-lighted hovel. A cotton wick flickered in a small lamp of the old Roman type. It was consuming a crude variety of castor oil, and its gamboge-colored flame clothed the smoke-darkened rafters and mud walls in somber yet vivid tints that would have gladdened the heart of a Rubens. This scenic effect, admirable to an artist, was lost on a girl waking in affright and startled by unfamiliar surroundings. She gazed up with uncomprehending eyes at two ...
— The Stowaway Girl • Louis Tracy

... words aloud, and the sound of my wailing voice ringing through the somber arches of the vault was strange and full of fantastic terror to my own ears. I knew that were my agony much further prolonged I should go mad. And I dared not picture to myself the frightful things which a maniac might be capable of, shut up in such a place of death and darkness, with ...
— Vendetta - A Story of One Forgotten • Marie Corelli



Words linked to "Somber" :   cheerless, drab, colorless, depressing, colourless, uncheerful



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