adjective Etymology: 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 Date: 15th century 1. thoughtful or subdued in appearance or manner ; sober <
a quiet, serious girl
2. a. requiring much thought or work <
serious study
b. of or relating to a matter of importance <
a serious play
3. a. not joking or trifling ; being in earnest <
a serious question
b. archaic pious c. deeply interested ; devoted <
a serious musician
4. a. 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
seriousness noun Synonyms: 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

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • serious — serious, grave, solemn, somber, sedate, staid, sober, earnest may be applied to persons, their looks, or their acts with the meaning not light or frivolous but actually or seemingly weighed down by deep thought, heavy cares, or purposive or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • serious — [sir′ē əs] adj. [ME seryows < ML seriosus < L serius, grave, orig., prob. weighty, heavy < ? IE base * swer > OE swær, heavy, sad, Goth swers, important, orig., heavy] 1. of, showing, having, or caused by earnestness or deep thought;… …   English World dictionary

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  • Serious — Se ri*ous, a. [L. serius: cf. F. s[ e]rieux, LL. seriosus.] 1. Grave in manner or disposition; earnest; thoughtful; solemn; not light, gay, or volatile. [1913 Webster] He is always serious, yet there is about his manner a graceful ease. Macaulay …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) demanding or characterized by careful consideration or application. 2) solemn or thoughtful. 3) sincere and in earnest, rather than joking or half hearted. 4) significant or worrying in terms of danger or risk: serious injury. 5)… …   English terms dictionary

  • serious — [adj1] somber, humorless austere, bound, bound and determined*, businesslike, cold sober*, contemplative, deadpan*, deliberate, determined, downbeat*, earnest, funereal, genuine, go for broke*, grave, grim, honest, intent, long faced*, meditative …   New thesaurus

  • serious — mid 15c., expressing earnest purpose or thought (of persons), from M.Fr. sérieux grave, earnest (14c.), from L.L. seriosus, from L. serius weighty, important, grave, probably from a PIE root *swer (Cf. Lith. sveriu to weigh, lift, svarus heavy; O …   Etymology dictionary

  • serious — se|ri|ous W1S1 [ˈsıəriəs US ˈsır ] adj ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(situation/problem)¦ 2 be serious 3¦(important)¦ 4¦(large amount)¦ 5¦(romantic relationship)¦ 6¦(person)¦ 7¦(sport/activity)¦ 8¦(very good)¦ 9¦(worried/unhappy)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • serious — se|ri|ous [ sıriəs ] adjective *** ▸ 1 bad enough to worry you ▸ 2 deserving attention ▸ 3 not joking ▸ 4 careful and detailed ▸ 5 not laughing much ▸ 6 involving difficult ideas ▸ 7 involving strong feelings ▸ 8 caring about activity ▸ 9… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • serious */*/*/ — UK [ˈsɪərɪəs] / US [ˈsɪrɪəs] adjective 1) bad or dangerous enough to make you worried The sale of the company will have serious implications for people s jobs. a serious problem/mistake: It s not a serious problem – we should be able to fix it… …   English dictionary

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