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

Origin of serious

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin sērius or Late Latin sēriōsus; see -ous, -ose1
Related formsse·ri·ous·ness, nounhalf-se·ri·ous, adjectivehalf-se·ri·ous·ly, adverbhalf-se·ri·ous·ness, nounnon·se·ri·ous, adjectivenon·se·ri·ous·ly, adverbnon·se·ri·ous·ness, nouno·ver·se·ri·ous, adjectiveo·ver·se·ri·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·se·ri·ous·ness, nounqua·si-se·ri·ous, adjectivequa·si-se·ri·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·se·ri·ous, adjectivesu·per·se·ri·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·se·ri·ous·ness, nounul·tra·se·ri·ous, adjectiveul·tra·se·ri·ous·ly, adverbul·tra·se·ri·ous·ness, nounun·se·ri·ous, adjectiveun·se·ri·ous·ly, adverbun·se·ri·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for serious

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

Antonyms for serious

3, 5. trivial. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unserious

Contemporary Examples of unserious

Historical Examples of unserious

  • Still, we were both born as we are, and I've just as much right to be unserious as you have to be serious.

  • His own father was an unscrupulous, unserious man, that was true, but at any rate he had given his son a human chance.

  • A lot of the girls have been sick a little with colds and small and unserious diseases in the past year.

    Mary Cary

    Kate Langley Bosher

British Dictionary definitions for unserious



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 unserious



mid-15c., "expressing earnest purpose or thought" (of persons), from Middle French sérieux "grave, earnest" (14c.), from Late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius "weighty, important, grave," probably from a PIE root *swer- (4) "heavy" (cf. Lithuanian sveriu "to weigh, lift," svarus "heavy;" Old English swære "heavy," German schwer "heavy," Gothic swers "honored, esteemed," literally "weighty"). As opposite of jesting, from 1712; as opposite of light (of music, theater, etc.), from 1762. Meaning "attended with danger" is from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for unserious




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.