sober as a judge


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(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.
See also: judge, sober
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

sober as a judge

BRITISH, 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.
See also: judge, sober
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

sober as a judge

completely sober.
See also: judge, sober
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(as) sober as a ˈjudge

not at all affected by alcohol: I was driving, so of course I was sober as a judge. OPPOSITE: (as) drunk as a lord
See also: judge, sober
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

sober as a judge

verb
See also: judge, sober
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

sober as a judge

In full possession of one’s faculties; not at all intoxicated. The equation of judges and sobriety was made long ago. An early appearance in print is in Terence Made English (1694) by an unknown author: “I thought myself sober as a judge.” It remains current on both sides of the Atlantic.
See also: judge, sober
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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