Sober vs Sobering - What's the difference?

sober | sobering |

As adjectives the difference between sober and sobering

is that sober is not drunk; not intoxicated while sobering is causing more sober thought or concern.

As verbs the difference between sober and sobering

is that sober is (often with up ) to make or become sober while sobering is .




  • not drunk; not intoxicated
  • not given to excessive drinking of alcohol
  • * Book of Common Prayer
  • a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of Thy holy name
  • moderate; realistic; serious; not playful; not passionate; cool; self-controlled
  • * Dryden
  • No sober man would put himself into danger for the applause of escaping without breaking his neck.
  • * 2005 , .
  • Which is the finest and soberest state possible.
  • dull; not bright or colorful
  • * Milton
  • Twilight grey / Had in her sober livery all things clad.
  • subdued; solemn; grave
  • * Prior
  • What parts gay France from sober Spain?
  • * Alexander Pope
  • See her sober over a sampler, or gay over a jointed baby.


    * See also * See also * See also


    * (not drunk) drunk

    See also

    * teetotaller


    (en verb)
  • (often with up ) To make or become sober.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, / And drinking largely sobers us again.
  • (often with up ) To overcome or lose a state of intoxication.
  • ''It took him hours to sober up .


    * ----




  • Causing more sober thought or concern.
  • It was a sobering thought that I had almost killed myself. That was something I wouldn't soon do on purpose again.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=October 29 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Chelsea 3 - 5 Arsenal , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=For Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas, this was his most sobering moment in the Premier League and he looked stunned on the sidelines at the regularity with which Chelsea's defence was exposed.}}