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 Finau is a big football fan, but never was a serious player. Tim Reynolds, ajc, "Finau gets a call during Masters delay, from Tom Brady," 11 Apr. 2021 Presided over by Circuit Court Judge Kevin J. Mahoney, the Adult Drug Court helps those who have serious, longstanding addiction issues that have resulted in criminal charges. baltimoresun.com, "Harford County Public Library donates books for Adult Drug Court graduates," 10 Apr. 2021 After a year when serious concerns took precedence, there’s no shame in being blissfully stuck in a bygone era. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "Skinny Jeans and 9 Other Styles That Date You," 10 Apr. 2021 Of the Republican contenders already in the race, GOP insiders consider real estate developer and 2018 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor Jeff Bartos the most serious. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Sean Parnell is the one to beat in 2022 Pennsylvania race," 10 Apr. 2021 Porter would be a serious target of the Celtics, who could use another wing shooter. BostonGlobe.com, "Is Rajon Rondo a Hall of Famer? It’s a great question," 10 Apr. 2021 The reality is that occupying any territory, let alone as hotly contested as these, requires serious resources—from personnel to military equipment to straight financing—and all that is before additional sanctions get factored in. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What Happens Next in the Rising Violence Between Ukraine and Russia," 10 Apr. 2021 Tovar is in serious but stable condition at a hospital, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. NBC News, "Texas workplace shooting suspect faces more charges," 10 Apr. 2021 The north’s relative stability and access to oil have brought those who rule it serious wealth. The Economist, "The Kurdish spring did not happen," 10 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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serious. Accessed 17 Apr. 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

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Comments on serious

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