What does serious mean?

Definitions for serious
ˈsɪər i əsse·ri·ous

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. Serious

    Serious is the 22nd single by English rock band Duran Duran. It was released 1 October 1990 as the second single from the Liberty album, reaching number three in Italy and number 48 in the United Kingdom.


  1. serious

    Serious can be used to describe something that is significant, grave or of significant importance. It can be characterized by a lack of frivolity, playfulness, or lightheartedness. It often relates to situations or subjects that require deep thought, attention, or concern. Additionally, being serious can imply a sense of sincerity, commitment, or a determined attitude towards a particular matter.

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. Robert Hutchins:

    It is not so important to be serious as it is to be serious about the important things. The monkey wears an expression of seriousness which would do credit to any college student, but the monkey is serious because he itches.

  2. Willie Nelson:

    There are more serious problems in life than financial ones, and I've had a lot of those. I've been broke before, and will be again. Heartbroke That's serious. Lose a few bucks. That's not.

  3. Spike Lee:

    It is possible to address a very serious subject matter and still have humor. I've done it before. 'Do the Right Thing' was serious as hell. It was so serious you can still show that film today -- it's still contemporary. But 'Do the Right Thing' was also funny as a motherf---er, there are many examples — music, plays, novels, movies — where humor has been injected into very serious subject matter.

  4. Bernie Sanders:

    Are you in the media prepared to allow us to engage in that serious debate? or do I have to get media attention by simply making reckless attacks on Hillary Clinton or anybody else? I don't believe in that. I believe in serious debates on serious issues.

  5. Tony Buzbee:

    It didn't take me very long to figure out just in that process that The NFL wasn't serious about The NFL. They're just not serious. They're serious about how many people you can put in the stands, how much merchandise you can sell, and how far you can throw the football. They're not concerned and are not serious about, you know, codes of conduct, things that are said, done, off the field.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for serious

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"serious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/serious>.

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    occurring from time to time
    • A. suspicious
    • B. plush
    • C. occasional
    • D. dangerous

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