that which is of importance, grave, critical, or somber: You have to learn to separate the serious from the frivolous.

Nearby words

  1. serin,
  2. serine,
  3. seringa,
  4. seringapatam,
  5. seriocomic,
  6. serious-minded,
  7. seriously,
  8. seriousness,
  9. seriplane,
  10. serjeant

Origin of serious

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin sērius or Late Latin sēriōsus; see -ous, -ose1

2. sober, sedate, staid. 3. See earnest1. 5. momentous, grave.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for seriousness

British Dictionary definitions for seriousness



grave in nature or disposition; thoughtfula serious person
marked by deep feeling; in earnest; sincereis he serious or joking?
concerned with important mattersa serious conversation
requiring effort or concentrationa serious book
giving rise to fear or anxiety; criticala serious illness
informal worthy of regard because of substantial quantity or qualityserious money; serious wine
informal extreme or remarkablea serious haircut
Derived Formsseriousness, noun

Word Origin for serious

C15: from Late Latin sēriōsus, from Latin sērius; probably related to Old English swǣr gloomy, Gothic swers esteemed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for seriousness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for seriousness




Being of such import as to cause anxiety, as of a physical condition.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.