I'm having a senior moment. The word I'm looking for is a third grade vocabulary word; it's not in any way obscure.

"After she told her story, the others reacted with a respectful, something moment of silence."

The word emphasizes the feeling of awe.

What word am I looking for??

I'll know it when I see it, and I'll accept the first answer that gives me the word.

EDIT: When I finally hit upon the word I was seeking, it became clear that I should have said something else in this question. Awe doesn't cover it. The others were in awe, yes, at the strength the woman showed by just being alive, but they were also shocked at the utter hell the woman had endured. Their silent response was very solemn and sad.

5 Answers 5


How about:

reverent: feeling or showing deep and solemn respect.

solemn: formal and dignified; characterized by deep sincerity.

hallow: honor as holy.

venerating: regard with great respect; revere.

Or the more obscure, but spiritually infused:

numinous: having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.

  • You're getting close. If I plug reverent and solemn into a thesaurus, I might get my word. Aug 7, 2014 at 21:24
  • Let us know what you come up with. Maybe create your own answer and then accept it.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 21:25
  • If I come up with it first, I'll accept my own answer. It's a specific word, I know it when I see it :) Aug 7, 2014 at 21:46
  • 1
    I GOT IT, thanks to your answers, it was listed as a synonym to solemn. Aug 7, 2014 at 21:49
  • 3
    The word I was looking for was "somber". Aug 7, 2014 at 21:54

I found the word I was looking for. The word is somber

Thanks Dan Bron, I found it looking up synonyms for solemn.

EDIT Just for those who might be curious, here is the complete context: IMDb recommendation of a specific episode of Chopped

  • 1
    Somber in no way emphasizes a feeling of awe. It connotes gloom more than it does solemnity. Aug 8, 2014 at 5:34
  • @jwpat7 Yes, and I'll edit the question appropriately. In context, the response of the others did have a sense of awe, they were in awe of what she had done to survive. They also deeply felt a very solemn sympathy. The woman telling the story had been through unimaginable hell. The word fits, it's my explanation that's lacking. Aug 8, 2014 at 5:50


  • Expressing awe: stood in awesome silence before the ancient ruins.

    • A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity.


Deferential :


  • respectful yielding to the opinion, will, etc., of another: in deference to her wishes.
  • respectful or courteous regard.


  • In modern usage, we'd more likely say "awed"; "awesome" now has different connotations.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 21:26
  • Plugged into my sentence, I would probably use "awed", but it's not the word I'm looking for. Aug 7, 2014 at 21:26

Thoughtful (“Demonstrating thought or careful consideration”) is perhaps the best word for a respectful, silent response.


Stunned would be my best guess

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    Oct 16, 2017 at 4:59
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