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

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

The bacteria can be life-threatening, and some more dangerous strains like Vibrio vulnificus can cause serious illness and require intensive care or limb amputation, the website states. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "A mom said her son was infected with Vibrio bacteria in Ocean City. Here's how to avoid the same fate.," 5 July 2019 Hey boo, idk you or anything and this isn’t hate, but making claims that someone is homophobic is really serious. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Demi Lovato Is Taking a Social Media Break—Here's What's Going On," 5 July 2019 Members of the GFWC Contemporary Women of North County volunteered at Ronald McDonald House-San Diego and helped cook and serve a meal for families with children being treated for serious illnesses at local hospitals. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Women’s club serves meal at Ronald McDonald House," 3 July 2019 The Houston Democrat was trying to haul in cash through an exploratory committee, which can be a non-starter for some political donors who want to know if a candidate is serious about a campaign. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Bell running for Senate seat held by John Cornyn," 3 July 2019 The implication that those who stay positive in the face of serious illness and their own mortality survive, while those who allow negative thinking do not is obviously toxic cod science, for which there is absolutely no evidence. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, "Can Everyone Please Stop Telling Me To Read The Secret?It's Not Helping," 2 July 2019 As first reported by Minneapolis’s Star Tribune, these included failing to report to an oversight body that some patients developed serious breathing problems and movement disorders. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump," 2 July 2019 Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious illness that requires immediate hospital attention. NBC News, "What to know about flesh-eating bacteria infections," 1 July 2019 So when his lease on a charming Brooklyn apartment was about to end, the Swedish-born creative took a look around him and realized the place had one serious problem. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "This 350-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Feels Like a Sailboat," 28 June 2019

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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Learn More about serious

Dictionary Entries near serious

seriola

seriosity

serioso

serious

seriously

serious-minded

seriph

Statistics for serious

Last Updated

10 Jul 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 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

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

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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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