serious

adjective
se·​ri·​ous | \ ˈsir-ē-əs How to pronounce serious (audio) \

Definition of serious

1 : thoughtful or subdued in appearance or manner : sober a quiet, serious girl
2a : requiring much thought or work serious study
b : of or relating to a matter of importance a serious play
3a : not joking or trifling : being in earnest a serious question
b archaic : pious
c : deeply interested : devoted a serious musician
4a : not easily answered or solved serious objections
b : having important or dangerous possible consequences a serious injury
5 : excessive or impressive in quality, quantity, extent, or degree serious stereo equipment making serious money serious drinking

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Other Words from serious

seriousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for serious

serious, grave, solemn, sedate, staid, sober, earnest mean not light or frivolous. serious implies a concern for what really matters. a serious play about social injustice grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude. read the proclamation in a grave voice solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity. a sad and solemn occasion sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness. remained sedate amid the commotion staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint. a quiet and staid community sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity. a sober look at the state of our schools earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose. an earnest reformer

Examples of serious in a Sentence

“You sound terrible.” “It's just a bad cold. Nothing serious.” For my brother, not going to college was a serious mistake. Crime is a serious problem in this neighborhood. The team is a serious contender for the championship. If you want to quit smoking, you have to make a serious effort. They had a serious conversation about their relationship. a serious novel about modern life The story raises serious questions about our system of justice. Dog shows are a serious business. She is a serious cyclist who rides 200 miles each week.
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Recent Examples on the Web The most serious cases have been brought against members of two far-right extremist groups — the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers — as authorities probe to what extent the attack was planned. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 13 Sep. 2021 The most serious cases have been brought against members of two far-right extremist groups — the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers — as authorities probe to what extent the attack was planned. Lisa Mascaro, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2021 The progress of vaccinations has helped reduce serious cases and deaths among older people, but infections from virus variants spread explosively in August among younger generations still largely unvaccinated, severely straining health care systems. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 13 Sep. 2021 The 18-month effort to oust Newsom has endured a variety of twists and turns, going from a longshot attempt to remove a national leader who was floated as a possible presidential contender to becoming a serious problem for Democrats. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, 12 Sep. 2021 There are signs that Singapore’s mass vaccination is holding down serious cases. Fortune, 9 Sep. 2021 Even France, which does have a pretty serious problem with chronic unemployment, averaged, at 7.8 percent, lower unemployment in 2020 than the U.S. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2021 About half the clerks said election misinformation was a serious problem, with clerks in larger communities far more likely than clerks in smaller ones to believe that. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Sep. 2021 The disease has become a serious problem among white-tailed deer in southern Wisconsin—where there are no wolves—Wydeven says. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 7 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of serious

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for serious

Middle English seryows, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French serious, from Late Latin seriosus, alteration of Latin serius weighty, serious; probably akin to Old English swǣr heavy, sad

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Time Traveler for serious

Time Traveler

The first known use of serious was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near serious

serioso

serious

seriously

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Statistics for serious

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serious. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for serious

serious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of serious

: having an important or dangerous possible result
: involving or deserving a lot of thought, attention, or work
: giving a lot of attention or energy to something

serious

adjective
se·​ri·​ous | \ ˈsir-ē-əs How to pronounce serious (audio) \

Kids Definition of serious

1 : not joking or funny a serious drama
2 : being such as to cause distress or harm a serious accident
3 : thoughtful or quiet in appearance or manner a serious person
4 : requiring much thought or work a serious task

Other Words from serious

seriousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for serious

serious, solemn, and earnest mean not funny or not playful. serious means being concerned or seeming to be concerned about really important things. He's a serious student. solemn is used for dignity along with complete seriousness. The preacher is always very solemn. earnest means that someone is sincere and has serious intentions. She's an earnest, diligent student.

serious

adjective
se·​ri·​ous | \ ˈsir-ē-əs How to pronounce serious (audio) \

Medical Definition of serious

: having important or dangerous possible consequences a serious injury

More from Merriam-Webster on serious

Nglish: Translation of serious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of serious for Arabic Speakers

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