What does serious mean?

Definitions for serious
ˈsɪər i əsse·ri·ous

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word serious.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. seriousadjective

    concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities

    "a serious student of history"; "a serious attempt to learn to ski"; "gave me a serious look"; "a serious young man"; "are you serious or joking?"; "Don't be so serious!"

  2. seriousadjective

    of great consequence

    "marriage is a serious matter"

  3. dangerous, grave, grievous, serious, severe, life-threateningadjective

    causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm

    "a dangerous operation"; "a grave situation"; "a grave illness"; "grievous bodily harm"; "a serious wound"; "a serious turn of events"; "a severe case of pneumonia"; "a life-threatening disease"

  4. good, seriousadjective

    appealing to the mind

    "good music"; "a serious book"

  5. unplayful, serious, soberadjective

    completely lacking in playfulness

  6. seriousadjective

    requiring effort or concentration; complex and not easy to answer or solve

    "raised serious objections to the proposal"; "the plan has a serious flaw"


  1. seriousadjective

    Without humor or expression of happiness; grave in manner or disposition; earnest; thoughtful; solemn.

    It was a surprise to see the captain, who had always seemed so serious, laugh so heartily.

  2. seriousadjective

    Important; weighty; not trifling; leaving no room for play; needing great attention; critical.

    This is a serious problem. We'll need our best experts.

  3. seriousadjective

    Really intending what is said; being in earnest; not jesting or deceiving; meaningful.

    After all these years, we're finally getting serious attention.

  4. Etymology: From seryows, from serieux, from seriosus, an extension of serius, from swēr-. Cognate with schwer, swær. More at swear, sweer.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SERIOUSadjective

    Etymology: serieux, Fr. serius, Latin.

    I’ll hence to London on a serious matter. William Shakespeare, H. VI.

    There’s nothing serious in mortality;
    All is but toys. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Seriousadjective

    grave in manner or disposition; earnest; thoughtful; solemn; not light, gay, or volatile

  2. Seriousadjective

    really intending what is said; being in earnest; not jesting or deceiving

  3. Seriousadjective

    important; weighty; not trifling; grave

  4. Seriousadjective

    hence, giving rise to apprehension; attended with danger; as, a serious injury


  1. Serious

    "Serious" is the 22nd single by the English rock band Duran Duran. It was released 1 October 1990 as the second single from the Liberty album.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Serious

    sē′ri-us, adj. solemn: in earnest: important: attended with danger: weighty: professedly religious.—adjs. Sē′rio-com′ic, -al, partly serious and partly comical.—adv. Sē′riously, gravely, deeply: without levity.—n. Sē′riousness. [Fr. serieux—L. serius, akin to severus, severe.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'serious' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #793

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'serious' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1139

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'serious' in Adjectives Frequency: #92

How to pronounce serious?

How to say serious in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of serious in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of serious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of serious in a Sentence

  1. Tom Lundstrum:

    If I'm elected to go to the convention, I will represent Ted Cruz on behalf of the people of Arkansas who voted for him. And if I am a Cruz delegate, I will not change my ballot until I'm told by Ted Cruz that he's releasing his delegates, if it comes to that, i don't know at this point what would induce me to vote for (Trump) or (Kasich) -- if that's who it comes down to, I would have to give some serious consideration to the fact that Donald Trump won the plurality of Arkansas delegates.

  2. Pete Buttigieg:

    There are serious questions about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences.

  3. United States:

    My own sense is that Kim Jong would only be ready to( totally disarm) at the end of a very long process and that Kim Jong goal at the present time is to remain a de facto nuclear power while reducing the sense of worry and threat about that so Kim Jong can begin to develop the economy, i do think United States is very serious about wanting to make North Korea a more normal country, looking more like North Korea neighbors, more like a successful Asian economy.

  4. Chris Murphy:

    And now there is a unanimous consent request to pass a bill that’s under negotiation, discussion between serious legislators who actually want to find results, so, no, I’m not going to debate the merits of these [unanimous consent requests], this isn’t real.

  5. Spokane Mayor David Condon:

    The conduct of these three members is a very serious violation of the public trust that we cannot tolerate violation of the three.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for serious

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for serious »


Find a translation for the serious definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these serious definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "serious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 7 Dec. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/serious>.

    Are we missing a good definition for serious? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a word that is more generic than a given word
    • A. hypernym
    • B. reciprocal
    • C. tingle
    • D. snap

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for serious: