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a serious injury
a significant injury
a severe injury
a substantial injury
a major injury
an intense injury
serious questions
legitimate questions
sincere questions
genuine questions
sensible questions
tough questions
a serious concern
a substantial concern
a significant concern
a considerable concern
a major concern
an important concern
serious doubts
immense doubts
strong doubts
severe doubts
massive doubts
a serious effort
a huge effort
a considerable effort
a substantial effort
a real effort
a sincere effort

Synonym Chooser

How is the word serious different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of serious are earnest, grave, sedate, sober, solemn, and staid. While all these words mean "not light or frivolous," serious implies a concern for what really matters.

a serious play about social injustice

In what contexts can earnest take the place of serious?

Although the words earnest and serious have much in common, earnest suggests sincerity or often zealousness of purpose.

an earnest reformer

When would grave be a good substitute for serious?

While in some cases nearly identical to serious, grave implies both seriousness and dignity in expression or attitude.

read the proclamation in a grave voice

When is it sensible to use sedate instead of serious?

While the synonyms sedate and serious are close in meaning, sedate implies a composed and decorous seriousness.

remained sedate amid the commotion

Where would sober be a reasonable alternative to serious?

The words sober and serious are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sober stresses seriousness of purpose and absence of levity or frivolity.

a sober look at the state of our schools

When might solemn be a better fit than serious?

The synonyms solemn and serious are sometimes interchangeable, but solemn suggests an impressive gravity utterly free from levity.

a sad and solemn occasion

When is staid a more appropriate choice than serious?

In some situations, the words staid and serious are roughly equivalent. However, staid suggests a settled, accustomed sedateness and prim self-restraint.

a quiet and staid community

Thesaurus Entries Near serious

Cite this Entry

“Serious.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on serious

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