Definition of serious in English:

serious

adjective

  • 1Demanding or characterized by careful consideration or application.

    ‘marriage is a serious matter’
    ‘we give serious consideration to safety recommendations’
    • ‘I will give this matter serious consideration and report back as the member has requested.’
    • ‘He gave them all a puzzled look but could tell they were in a serious conversation, so he didn't push it.’
    • ‘According to the experts, serious consideration of the unique factors involved is required.’
    • ‘When you go into a courtroom you are doing something very serious and solemn and you are representing more than just the rights of your client.’
    • ‘Space does not allow publication of all questions, but all receive serious consideration.’
    • ‘The book has serious flaws, though, and not just because it is really only an extended essay.’
    • ‘If somebody made me a good offer to take over your job I would give it serious consideration.’
    • ‘It's important to remember that failure to submit an application is a serious matter.’
    • ‘Don't expect serious discussion of any of these issues from our federal courts.’
    • ‘That submission calls for serious consideration and it has led to some close textual analysis of the paragraph in question.’
    • ‘It attempts to handle a serious topic thoughtfully, but ultimately fumbles it.’
    • ‘Now, though, there are serious questions about the level of disclosure by the very head of the inquiry.’
    • ‘Though addressing serious issues such as the status of women, it is not thick with gravitas.’
    • ‘If not, I think it's a serious consideration if this journal is any indication.’
    • ‘One should always treat analogies with caution, but this one merits serious consideration.’
    • ‘I raise for serious debate and consideration the issue that we have too many judges.’
    • ‘They have carefully avoided any serious debate on the economic issues.’
    • ‘This is not just about child abuse, serious though it undoubtedly is.’
    • ‘I raise what I consider to be quite a serious matter for your consideration.’
    • ‘First though, there were serious problems that needed solving.’
    important, significant, consequential, of consequence, momentous, of moment, key, grave, weighty, far-reaching, major
    careful, detailed, in-depth, deep, profound, meaningful
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    1. 1.1 Solemn or thoughtful in character or manner.
      ‘her face grew serious’
      • ‘He tried to appear serious for a second but then broke down laughing.’
      • ‘Indeed, it became an important part of the process of playing a serious character.’
      • ‘Her blush climbed higher as he watched her with feigned serious thoughtfulness.’
      • ‘The familiar smirk was gone, replaced by a serious, solemn look that she had never seen before.’
      • ‘He became serious for a moment as they stepped onto the marble floor of the entry hall.’
      • ‘I tried to give him a charming smile and look serious at the same time.’
      • ‘Then he let the smile fade into a more serious expression, though it was one that was filled with a steady joy.’
      • ‘These are serious, thoughtful people who are not in thrall to the restrictions of old ideologies.’
      • ‘He grinned at her, but quickly turned serious again as his thoughts returned to why he was there.’
      • ‘She scowled meanly, then her face became more serious and thoughtful.’
      • ‘Olivia looks thoughtful before her serious face is broken by a broad smile.’
      • ‘Her forceful personality and ease in the spotlight complemented the king's serious, thoughtful demeanour.’
      • ‘For once, he was totally serious as new thoughts compressed his old ones to the back of his mind.’
      • ‘She looked at him levelly, her eyes dry and now solemn and serious.’
      • ‘He looked so serious for a moment that Faith almost believed him.’
      • ‘He looks solemn and serious, but I can remember how he and the other two big boys were holding in laughter.’
      • ‘I've always tried to be both humorous and serious at the same time.’
      • ‘Her mother became very serious for a moment, her hands tightening on Jessie's shoulders.’
      • ‘His character is serious, but loveable, and it's great to see him tackle drama as easily as he does comedy.’
      solemn, earnest, grave, sober, sombre, unsmiling, poker-faced, stern, grim, dour, humourless, stony-faced
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    2. 1.2 (of music, literature, or other art forms) requiring or meriting deep reflection.
      ‘he bridges the gap between serious and popular music’
      • ‘At least when I grew up I could look forward to the next Bergman film or serious movies by other great film-makers.’
      • ‘Every aspect of what is supposed to prevail in serious fiction comes into play.’
      • ‘Then a Saturday night show will take place at the Holy Cross Cathedral and will consist of more serious music.’
      • ‘There is no permanent circuit to screen serious films and the distribution system too leaves much to be desired.’
      • ‘A serious drama should be like a swimmer diving into a pool and swimming to the other side in one smooth, perfect trajectory.’
      • ‘The movie itself might not be much on serious drama, but the bonus features make up for that.’
      • ‘Before that I was beginning to fear there was no place for serious drama in the movie industry.’
      • ‘Name me a recent serious novel written about the experience of Black men in America.’
      • ‘It was generally a parody or skit on more serious opera, a forerunner of the satirical revue.’
      • ‘He has made a serious and thoughtful film, despite some obvious limitations.’
      • ‘They are probably the only group around making any kind of serious music.’
      • ‘It was not commercial fiction, it was all serious fiction, but I loved it.’
      • ‘The principal gave a little speech on creating the right mood for serious poetry.’
      • ‘While it toyed with serious drama, Moulin Rouge is injected with joyous melodramatic fun.’
      • ‘Very few directors dare to make serious films due to paucity of funds, she said.’
      • ‘Our culture forces serious music to function solely as entertainment or not at all.’
      • ‘It is so rewarding to experience theatre that is serious, thought provoking, skilful and local.’
      • ‘Of course The Magdalene Sisters is a serious film, a horror story in the true sense of the term, but also a lesson in history.’
      • ‘And his new film, Munich is also what I suppose you can call a serious film by Spielberg.’
      • ‘He was nominated for an Oscar for his first serious movie, The Last Picture Show, which he made at age 22.’
      intellectual, highbrow, heavyweight, deep, profound, literary, learned, scholarly, cultured
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  • 2Acting or speaking sincerely and in earnest, rather than in a joking or half-hearted manner.

    ‘actors who are serious about their work’
    • ‘Though she was quite serious, James Benedict burst into a bought of amused laughter.’
    • ‘The club is serious about their intent to gain promotion this season.’
    • ‘If Americans don't get serious about voter fraud very soon, it will be too late.’
    • ‘Nobody in the Security Council thought that he was serious or honest with that declaration.’
    • ‘He's truly serious about wanting to get the paparazzi outlawed.’
    • ‘These frank statements suggest that he is sincere and serious about exposing the problems and proposing solutions.’
    • ‘We've already shared a bit of banter but for that 90 minutes we will be very serious about what we have to do for our respective countries.’
    • ‘I'm serious about this because we are now looking at some accountability in a system.’
    • ‘You start locking up folks and then we tell people we are serious about this.’
    • ‘And even if he was being serious about the tsunami escape centre, who's to say the idea is ludicrous?’
    • ‘If it was serious about a long-term commitment to Mitsubishi, then why isn't it willing to bail it out?’
    • ‘These food changes took a lot of determination, but I was serious about losing weight.’
    • ‘If the Government is serious about disaster preparedness, it is going to have to start with the fundamentals.’
    • ‘Now, judging on the tax cuts you've offered, you're quite serious about that.’
    • ‘If he is really serious about giving up, and is not just saying that to fob you off, he should seek professional therapy to help him to kick the habit.’
    • ‘Better to try to look half way serious about this now, rather than after the names break.’
    • ‘Most people begin to think that no one is serious about it and its all just a big joke.’
    • ‘If the Americans are serious about the spread of liberty they must commit themselves to it.’
    • ‘Those aren't the words of somebody who was serious about fighting the Cold War.’
    • ‘If we are serious about cutting the teenage pregnancy rate, family planning experts must be able to advise young people of the choices.’
    in earnest, earnest, sincere, wholehearted, genuine, meaning what one says
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  • 3Significant or worrying because of possible danger or risk; not slight or negligible.

    ‘she escaped serious injury’
    • ‘Deeper infection is serious and requires removal and re-implantation of the joint.’
    • ‘There is an error in the third paragraph which is sufficiently serious to warrant that I replace the copy.’
    • ‘The risk of serious complication was lower in those who had treatment for diabetes.’
    • ‘The most common serious complications were related to the incision or urinary tract problems.’
    • ‘Does this mean there is new evidence that climate change is more serious than previously thought?’
    • ‘People deserve better - not just those living there but the motorists who risk death or serious injury every day.’
    • ‘Only 26 patients had side effects that were serious enough to require a dosage reduction.’
    • ‘However, due to a serious family illness we will be unable to go.’
    • ‘To allow that to happen is to put the child itself at terrible risk of serious injury or death if there is an accident.’
    • ‘The specialist I visited at age 8 did not believe my condition was serious enough to merit correction.’
    • ‘It is better to speak of an unlawful and dangerous act carrying with it an appreciable risk of serious injury.’
    • ‘The grade 3 concussion and the retinal detachment were the most serious injuries observed.’
    • ‘The screener must decide whether a complaint raises a question of serious professional misconduct.’
    • ‘However, investigations later showed it was only an increased heartbeat which is less serious than first thought.’
    • ‘Full protection needs to be worn to reduce the risk of serious eye injuries.’
    • ‘The most serious injuries were thought to be head injuries, broken bones and fractures.’
    • ‘Adequate knowledge and training of clinicians will minimize the occurrence of such serious complications.’
    • ‘I fear that this may well have some serious repercussions for many innocent Muslims.’
    • ‘The firm says the problem is not serious enough to merit a full product recall.’
    • ‘If the offence is serious enough to warrant it, the court may consider imposing a community sentence.’
    severe, grave, bad, critical, acute, alarming, worrying, grievous, dreadful, terrible, dire, extreme, dangerous, perilous, precarious
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  • 4informal attributive Substantial in terms of size, number, or quality.

    ‘he suddenly had serious money to spend’
    • ‘Even before opening the box there's a feeling of quality and a serious amount of weight!’
    • ‘No, Blair's Britain had a minimum wage, a New Deal for the unemployed and spent serious money on health and education.’
    • ‘Now all but the most unquestioning loyalists are having serious second thoughts.’
    • ‘When was the last time you gained any serious size using regular whey protein?’
    • ‘This is the kind of thing that gives me serious second thoughts about the Internet.’
    • ‘Ignoring the heterogeneity may lead to a serious underestimation of sample sizes.’
    • ‘Yes, turkey hunters love to hunt and are willing to spend serious money in this growing market.’
    • ‘Both clubs boast some serious money, and some serious hubris.’
    • ‘Though dazed and in serious pain, I was aware on some level of the chaos I had instigated.’
    • ‘In its 30th year the pool would need a serious overhaul and more money would be needed to support the venture.’
    • ‘The owners have spent serious money making it a very enjoyable tour that takes around a half an hour.’
    • ‘Our diligent investigations reveal serious alteration to the terms of the document.’
    • ‘US production companies invest serious time and money into their craft, and it makes great TV.’
    • ‘So, I am making a shopping list and plan to be spending some serious money!’
    • ‘They are prepared, on occasion, to part with a serious amount of money provided they are convinced that the cooking merits it.’
    • ‘This is all outweighed by its tiny size and serious devotion to high-end features for the price.’
    • ‘Many companies are involved in a serious and extensive total quality management effort.’
    • ‘Now this amiable Bostonian is ready to pack on some serious size to do damage at the next level.’
    • ‘Daytona International Speedway announced a serious sum of money is going to be spent on renovations.’
    • ‘The conduct did not cause serious or substantial harm to Broadview's interest.’
    sizeable, substantial, appreciable, significant
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French serieux or late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius ‘earnest, serious’.

Pronunciation

serious

/ˈsɪərɪəs/