Definition of serious
1 : thoughtful or subdued in appearance or manner : sober a quiet, serious girl
2a : requiring much thought or work serious studyb : of or relating to a matter of importance a serious play
4a : not easily answered or solved serious objectionsb : 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
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.
Recent Examples of serious from the Web
Many patients are hospitalized for weeks with serious infections, punctured organs and other medical complications.
Pulling out of Paris would cause serious diplomatic damage.
The most serious point of contention between the president and his son-in-law, two people familiar with the interactions said, was a video clip this month of Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, pitching potential investors in Beijing on a Kushner Cos.
Two children were listed in serious-to-critical condition, Lyle said.
Fans see it as an unnecessary distraction from more serious matters.
Chuck and Lydia Alexander were taken to Huntsville Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, according to authorities.
Zachary Carter, the city’s top lawyer, said the ruling reflects the serious nature of the offense.
In fact, since the relative success of Funny People—his last semi-serious role in 2010—Adam Sandler movies have an average of about 23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of serious
SERIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of serious for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of serious for Students
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
Medical Definition of serious
: having important or dangerous possible consequences a serious injury
Seen and Heard
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