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a sobering thought

A thought or idea which is dispiriting, depressing, or traumatic. It's a sobering thought when you consider how many people go without clean water every day.
See also: sober, thought

*sober as a judge

1. Cliché very formal, somber, or stuffy. (*Also: as ~.) You certainly look gloomy, Bill. You're sober as a judge. Tom's as sober as a judge. I think he's angry.
2. Cliché not drunk; alert and completely sober. (*Also: as ~.) John's drunk? No, he's as sober as a judge. You should be sober as a judge when you drive a car.
See also: judge, sober

sober someone up

1. Lit. to take actions that will cause a drunken person to become sober. some coffee ought to sober him up. He tried to sober himself up because he had to drive home. They tried to sober up the guys who had been out all night.
2. Fig. to cause someone to face reality. The harsh reality of what had happened sobered him up immediately. The arrival of the police sobered up all the revelers.
See also: sober, up

sober up

to recover from alcohol or drug intoxication. Barlowe had one hour to sober up and get to the station. It took him a while to sober up.
See also: sober, up

stone(–cold) sober

 and cold sober
absolutely sober. I am stone-cold sober, or I will be by morning anyway. I found the secret to waking up cold sober. Don't drink.
See also: sober, stone

be as sober as a judge

to not be at all drunk It's awful when everyone else around you has been drinking and you're as sober as a judge.
See also: judge, sober

sober as a judge

Not at all intoxicated, quite clear-headed, as in Even after three drinks he was sober as a judge. Why judges should be equated with sobriety is not known, but the simile was first recorded in 1694.
See also: judge, sober

sober up

1. To have one's feeling of intoxication subside: I waited until I had sobered up and then drove home.
2. To cause someone's feeling of intoxication to subside: The jailer grabbed a pail of water and a cup of coffee to sober up the drunk. That nap really sobered me up, but I still have a hangover.
3. To overcome an alcohol or drug addiction: It wasn't until I had sobered up that I was able hold a steady job.
4. To become serious, grave, or solemn: Everyone sobered up and felt ashamed when they heard the bad news.
5. To make someone or something serious, grave, or solemn: The news of the disaster sobered them up. The accident sobered up the workers, reminding them how dangerous their job was.
See also: sober, up

(as) sober as a judge

mod. as sober (free from alcohol) as it is possible to be. Kelly—who was starched as could be—claimed to be sober as a judge.
See also: judge, sober

sober as a judge

See also: judge, sober

cold sober

mod. sober; completely sober. (see also sold cober.) He had a fine head on and wanted more than anything to be cold sober and alert.
See also: cold, sober

sober up

in. to recover from alcohol or drug intoxication. Marlowe had one hour to sober up and get to the station.
See also: sober, up

stone (cold) sober

mod. absolutely sober. I am stone cold sober, or I will be by morning anyway.
See also: cold, sober, stone

stone sober

See also: sober, stone
References in periodicals archive ?
Even if only one in 10 intoxicated people ended up at the hospital or in jail, the sobering station would still save money.
If the sobering station were to close, most intoxicated people wouldn't end up in a hospital or the jail - maybe not even one in 10.
Yet the sobering station has funds to operate only through next month.
Second: 1 Rough Native, 2 Verbier, 3 Sobering Thought, 4 Fear No One, 5 Judicial T riggs, 6 Fear Zeus (m).
In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 6,326 people were admitted to the sobering station - nearly 90 percent of them for drunkenness.
Without the sobering station, "business and neighborhoods would see more inebriated individuals and experience nuisance behavior and criminal activity," according to the analysis.
For more than two decades, Lane County's general fund paid for the sobering station.
It's a sobering event: one of the country's biggest medical organizations fails miserably.
Walker has planned a visual lesson for students - a car destroyed in an accident will be placed at Canyon High for a sobering reminder.