(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
adj. grave, momentous, solemn; earnest, resolute; important, weighty; alarming, critical. See importance. Ant., lightweight, insignificant.
(Roget's IV) modif.
1. [Involving danger]
Syn. grave, severe, pressing; see dangerous 1 , 2 .
2. [Involving earnestness]
Syn. solemn, grave, earnest, sedate, sober; see also solemn 1 .
Syn.- serious implies absorption in deep thought or involvement in something really important as distinguished from something frivolous or merely amusing [ he takes a serious interest in the theater ] ; grave implies the dignified weightiness of heavy responsibilities or cares [ a grave expression on his face ] ; solemn suggests an impressive or awe-inspiring seriousness [ a solemn ceremony ] ; sedate implies a dignified, quiet or composed, sometimes even prim seriousness [ a sedate clergyman ] ; earnest suggests a seriousness of purpose marked by sincerity and enthusiasm [ an earnest deSire to help ] ; sober implies a seriousness marked by temperance, self-control, emotional balance, etc. [ a sober criticism ]
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) a.
1. somber earnest, grave, sober, *meaning business, unsmiling, humorless, dour, stern, stony-faced, *no-nonsense, grim, staid.
2. weighty important, crucial, *heavy, no laughing matter, consequential, life-and-death, momentous, grave, grim, critical, dangerous.
3. sincere earnest, honest.
ANT.: 1. silly, foolish, lighthearted. 2. trivial, trifling, silly, inconsequential. 3. kidding
(Roget's Thesaurus II) adjective 1. Full of or marked by dignity and seriousness: earnest1, grave2, sedate, sober, solemn, somber, staid. See ATTITUDE, HEAVY. 2. Marked by sober sincerity: businesslike, earnest1, no-nonsense, sobersided. Idiom: in earnest. See HEAVY, WORK. 3. Having great consequence or weight: earnest1, grave2, heavy, momentous, severe, weighty. See IMPORTANT. 4. Causing or marked by danger or pain, for example: dangerous, grave2, grievous, severe. See HELP. 5. Not easy to do, achieve, or master: arduous, difficult, hard, laborious, tall, tough, uphill. See EASY.

English dictionary for students. 2013.


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  • serious — serious, grave, solemn, somber, sedate, staid, sober, earnest may be applied to persons, their looks, or their acts with the meaning not light or frivolous but actually or seemingly weighed down by deep thought, heavy cares, or purposive or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • serious — [sir′ē əs] adj. [ME seryows < ML seriosus < L serius, grave, orig., prob. weighty, heavy < ? IE base * swer > OE swær, heavy, sad, Goth swers, important, orig., heavy] 1. of, showing, having, or caused by earnestness or deep thought;… …   English World dictionary

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  • Serious — Se ri*ous, a. [L. serius: cf. F. s[ e]rieux, LL. seriosus.] 1. Grave in manner or disposition; earnest; thoughtful; solemn; not light, gay, or volatile. [1913 Webster] He is always serious, yet there is about his manner a graceful ease. Macaulay …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) demanding or characterized by careful consideration or application. 2) solemn or thoughtful. 3) sincere and in earnest, rather than joking or half hearted. 4) significant or worrying in terms of danger or risk: serious injury. 5)… …   English terms dictionary

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  • serious — mid 15c., expressing earnest purpose or thought (of persons), from M.Fr. sérieux grave, earnest (14c.), from L.L. seriosus, from L. serius weighty, important, grave, probably from a PIE root *swer (Cf. Lith. sveriu to weigh, lift, svarus heavy; O …   Etymology dictionary

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  • serious — se|ri|ous [ sıriəs ] adjective *** ▸ 1 bad enough to worry you ▸ 2 deserving attention ▸ 3 not joking ▸ 4 careful and detailed ▸ 5 not laughing much ▸ 6 involving difficult ideas ▸ 7 involving strong feelings ▸ 8 caring about activity ▸ 9… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • serious */*/*/ — UK [ˈsɪərɪəs] / US [ˈsɪrɪəs] adjective 1) bad or dangerous enough to make you worried The sale of the company will have serious implications for people s jobs. a serious problem/mistake: It s not a serious problem – we should be able to fix it… …   English dictionary

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