Habitual, customary. (Latin, sollemnis, strictly speaking
means “once a year,” “annual,” solus-annus.)
“Silent night with this her solemn bird” [i.e. the
nightingale, the bird familiar to night]. —Milton: Paradise Lost, v.
Of course the usual meaning of “solemn” is devout; but an annual
festival, like Good Friday, etc., may be both devout and serious. The
Latin for “it is usual,” is solemne est, and to “solemnise” is
to celebrate an annual custom.
The Solemn Doctor.
Henry Goethals was so called by the Sorbonne. (1227-1293.) Solemn League and Covenant, for the suppression of Popery and
Prelacy, adopted by the Scotch Parliament in 1638, and accepted by the
English in 1643. Charles II. swore to the Scotch that he would abide by
it and therefore they crowned him in 1651 at Dunbar; but at the
Restoration he not only rejected the covenant, but had it burnt by the
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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