Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
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.
wanton kittens make sober cats
One who behaves wildly in youth often shows more restraint in adulthood. I wouldn't worry too much about your son's interest in partying—wanton kittens make sober cats most of the time.
be (as) sober as a judge
1. To be stoic and reserved, perhaps even somber. Anita has been sober as a judge ever since she heard of Marshall's death.
2. To be calm and rational. He's usually as sober as a judge, so I'm confident that he'll make a sound decision.
3. To be not at all intoxicated. I haven't been drinking at all, I swear! I'm sober as a judge!
appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober
To urge one to rethink something. The phrase refers to King Philip II of Macedon, who made an unwelcome decision and was challenged with an appeal to "Philip sober." If you're unhappy with his decision, then why don't you appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober?
Completely sober; not intoxicated to any degree by drugs or alcohol. I'm stone-cold sober, so I'll drive us home. No, I'm not high—I've been stone-cold sober from the day I started working here!
See also: sober
(as) sober as a judge
1. To be stoic and reserved, perhaps even somber. Anita has been as sober as a judge ever since she heard of Marshall's death. The coach stood at the side of the field, sober as a judge, as the clock counted down on his team's championship ambitions.
2. To be calm and rational. We need someone who can consider these issues without their emotions interfering—you'll need to be as sober as a judge from beginning to end!
3. To be not at all intoxicated. I haven't been drinking at all, I swear! I'm as sober as a judge! John's remained sober as a judge ever since the car accident three years ago.
1. To recover from the effects of alcohol or drugs on one's body or mind. I need to sober up soon—I can't go into work staggering around like this! We decided to go take a walk in the cool night air to sober up a little before heading home.
2. To help or cause someone to recover from the effects of alcohol or drugs on one's body or mind. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sober" and "up." Go make a pot of coffee! We need to sober Kevin up before his parents come back.
3. To cease being happy, merry, flippant, or distracted; to become serious or solemn. When the chief put the pictures of the victims up on the white board, the whole room sobered up.
4. To cause or compel someone to cease being happy, merry, flippant, or distracted; to make someone serious or solemn. We were all goofing around during practice until the coach threw a chair through the window—that sobered us up straight away.
5. To give up drinking alcohol or taking drugs as a means of dealing with or overcoming one's addiction. I sobered up ten years ago to save my marriage, and I haven't looked since. Instead of simply throwing everyone in prison, why not offer programs to help some of these addicts sober up and start leading productive lives?
Completely sober; not intoxicated to any degree by drugs or alcohol. I'm cold sober, so I'll drive us home. No, I'm not high—I've been cold sober from the day I started working here!
*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.
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.
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.
stone(–cold) soberand 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.
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.
sober as a judgeBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is as sober as a judge, they have drunk no alcohol at all. For five years I was as sober as a judge.
appeal from Philip drunk to Philip soberask someone to reconsider, with the suggestion that an earlier opinion or decision represented only a passing mood.
This phrase comes from an anecdote told by the Roman historian and moralist Valerius Maximus concerning an unjust judgement given by King Philip of Macedon : the woman condemned by Philip declared that she would appeal to him once again, but this time when he was sober.
sober as a judgecompletely sober.
(as) sober as a ˈjudgenot at all affected by alcohol: I was driving, so of course I was sober as a judge. OPPOSITE: (as) drunk as a lord
ˌstone-cold ˈsoberhaving drunk no alcohol at all: By the time I arrived at the party, everyone else had had quite a few drinks, whereas I was stone-cold sober. OPPOSITE: blind drunk
See also: sober
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.
(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.
sober as a judgeverb
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.
in. to recover from alcohol or drug intoxication. Marlowe had one hour to sober up and get to the station.
stone (cold) sober
mod. absolutely sober. I am stone cold sober, or I will be by morning anyway.
See stone cold sober