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Solemn, Solemnity

sol’-em, so-lem’-ni-ti: The word "solemn" had

(1) at first the meaning "once in the year," through its derivation from Latin sollus, "whole," annus, "year." As, however, a regular annual occurrence is usually one of particular importance, the word took on

(2) the meaning "ceremonious." From this is derived

(3) the usual modern force of "grave" in opposition to "joyous."


See Feasts.


The Revised Version (British and American) Apocrypha translates en hemerais kairou, "in the days of the season" (Baruch 1:14), by "on the days of the solemn assembly" (the King James Version "solemn days"), and both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) have "solemn feast days" for dies festos (2 Esdras 1:31). Otherwise the King James Version’s use of "solemn" is dropped by the Revised Version (British and American).