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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Solemnity


SOLEM'NITY, noun

1. A rite or ceremony annualy performed with religious reverence. Great was the cause; our old solemnities from no blind zeal or fond tradition rise, but sav'd from death, our Arguves yearly pay these grateful honors to the god of day.

[Solemnities seems here to include the sense of anniversary. See the fourth line. But in modern usage, that sense is rarely or never attached to the word.]

2. A religious ceremony; a ritual performance attended with religious reverence; as the solemnity of a funral or of a sacrament.

3. A ceremony adapted to impress awe; as the solemnities of the last day.

4. Manner of acting awfully serious. With horrible solemnity he caused every thing to be prepared for his triumph of victory.

5. Gravity; steady seriouness; as the solemnity of the Spanish language.

6. Affected gravity. Solemnity's a cover for a sot.