serious

adjective
se·​ri·​ous | \ ˈsir-ē-əs \

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

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.

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

Several rooms packed with board games were open around the clock, pickup card games sprang up in every corner, and the most serious players tested their skills in a dayslong tournaments of Hearts and the tactical shape-matching game Qwirkle. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Mensa’s Debate: Deep Thinking or Games and Drinking?," 1 Jan. 2019 But the allegations in the Tablet profile are the most serious criticisms yet of the Women’s March leadership. Anna North, Vox, "The Women’s March changed the American left. Now anti-Semitism allegations threaten the group’s future.," 21 Dec. 2018 While Blake hasn't gotten down on one knee, things between the two are definitely serious. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton's Girlfriend Gwen Stefani Responds to Engagement Rumors," 18 Dec. 2018 Lenovo’s ThinkPad L-series notebooks represent the value class of Lenovo’s ThinkPad business lineup, appealing to professionals as well as consumers who want a more serious-minded notebook solution. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Lenovo gives its affordable ThinkPad L390 notebooks a boost with Intel Whiskey Lake chips," 17 Dec. 2018 Our mental states can be very serious, or they can be summarized with a viral meme. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The Twitter Hashtag #MyMentalStatein5Words Is Starting an Important Mental Health Conversation," 10 Dec. 2018 The most serious potential complication is a disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD) that can cause involuntary movement of the eyes, face, and hands, facial grimacing, rapid eye blinking, and piano playing-like finger movement. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Things You Should Know About Taking Antipsychotic Drugs," 7 Dec. 2018 If Minneapolis is serious about achieving its climate goals, then enabling more people to live along transit corridors, near daily destinations, in places where living without a car is a realistic choice, is an obvious first step. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Here’s what a plan to tackle climate change, density, and affordability looks like," 27 Nov. 2018 Most important: Uribe got serious about sustainability: 99 percent of the collection was designed using recycled fabrics and materials. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "From Runway Protests to A #MeToo Blackout, Here Are 12 Ways Fashion Tried to Change The World in 2018," 19 Dec. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near serious

seriola

seriosity

serioso

serious

seriously

serious-minded

seriph

Statistics for serious

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for serious

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

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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 \

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

serious

adjective
se·​ri·​ous | \ ˈsir-ē-əs \

Medical Definition of serious

: having important or dangerous possible consequences a serious injury

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More from Merriam-Webster on serious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with serious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for serious

Spanish Central: Translation of serious

Nglish: Translation of serious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of serious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on serious

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