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

In fact, the expansion of the genre has created a community of people who are serious about the subject matter and others who might identify with one case in particular. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019 Jennifer Garner may call her Instagram video series a #PretendCookingShow, but all signs point to the actress getting serious about gastronomy. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Ina Garten Will Cook with Jennifer Garner on the Thanksgiving Episode of Barefoot Contessa," 13 Nov. 2018 Kim Kardashian is getting serious about achieving her goal of attending law school. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Is Studying for the California State Bar," 16 Apr. 2019 Acer's serious about building out the ConceptD line. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Sorry, gamers: Acer's ConceptD PCs are powerful, quiet, and cool, but made for creators," 12 Apr. 2019 Following through on appointing an independent chair tells regulators that Tesla’s board is serious about improving governance. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Tesla’s new chairwoman is walking into SEC and DOJ probes," 9 Nov. 2018 Total Expert Score: 89/100 | Consumer Score: 78% give it 4 stars or higher A stable boot for serious off-trail backpacking—no matter the weather. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Hiking Boots for Exploring the Outdoors," 9 Apr. 2019 Without intending to, Marie Kondo opened my eyes to a serious mold problem in my home. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Remove Mold From Wood Furniture and Particle Board," 9 Apr. 2019 Fresh, bright, and full of veggies, this flatbread is a serious upgrade to pizza night! Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Roasted Broccoli and Lemony Ricotta Flatbread," 15 Feb. 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

15 May 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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