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 As to Albany […]—and part of why no one’s paying attention here [is] because Cuomo has his own dickish problems, on multiple fronts, many of them very serious, and that’s drained a lot of attention—that’s where all the power is. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, "Andrew Yang Takes New York," 5 May 2021 The health situation in some developing countries is serious. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Vaccine Rollouts Are a Key Ingredient for Big Food," 5 May 2021 In a Summer Olympics that will be so very different, the repercussions for not following the rules will be that serious. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Olympics likely to be the largest peacetime gathering with no gathering," 5 May 2021 Over a year after getting sick with COVID-19, Pink revealed just how serious her battle with the illness was. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Pink Rewrote Her Will During Her ‘Really Scary’ COVID-19 Illness," 4 May 2021 Seabold’s injury isn’t believed to be serious, but the righthander won’t be a big league consideration for some time. BostonGlobe.com, "A closer look at the WooSox’ initial roster, and which prospects to keep an eye on," 3 May 2021 Depression is a very serious problem, but can be overcome with self-reflection and a determination that life can be more joyful and happy. cleveland, "Dear Annie: How should I respond to people who ask what I do for a living?," 1 May 2021 Depression is a very serious problem, but can be overcome with self-reflection and a determination that life can be more joyful and happy. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Retail worker feels ashamed of work history, lack of college degree," 1 May 2021 Radiation from space will be a very serious danger for the first travelers to venture from Earth to the surface of Mars. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Scientists are pretending Hawaii is Mars," 30 Apr. 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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Statistics for serious

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serious. Accessed 13 May. 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

Comments on serious

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