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From Middle English seryows, from Old French serieux, from Medieval Latin sēriōsus, an extension of Latin sērius (grave, earnest, serious), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (heavy). Cognate with German schwer (heavy, difficult, severe), Old English swǣr (heavy, grave, grievous). More at swear, sweer.



serious (comparative more serious, superlative most serious)

  1. Without humor or expression of happiness; grave in manner or disposition
    Synonyms: earnest, solemn
    deadly serious
    It was a surprise to see the captain, who had always seemed so serious, laugh so heartily.
  2. Important; weighty; not insignificant
    This is a serious problem. We'll need our best experts.
  3. Really intending what is said (or planned, etc); in earnest; not jocular or deceiving
    After all these years, we're finally getting serious attention.
    He says he wants to buy the team, but is he serious?
  4. (of a relationship) Committed.



Derived terms[edit]



serious (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial or dialect) seriously, in a serious manner (most often heard in take or mean serious)
    • 1957, Ray Lawler, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Sydney: Fontana Books, published 1974, page 68:
      The only time I walk out on singin' is when there's muckin' about and youse don't take it serious.

Further reading[edit]