From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishseriousse‧ri‧ous /ˈsɪəriəs $ ˈsɪr-/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective 1 situation/problemSERIOUS SITUATION a serious situation, problem, accident etc is extremely bad or dangerous the serious problem of unemployment Luckily, the damage was not serious. Serious crimes have increased dramatically.serious injury/illness/accident etc a serious accident on the freeway Oil spills pose a serious threat to marine life. The president was in serious trouble. → see Thesaurus box on 0000002 importantIMPORTANT important and needing a lot of thought or attention This is a very serious matter. the serious business of earning a living Be quiet, Jim. This is serious.3 not joking or pretendingSERIOUS/NOT JOKING if someone is serious about something they say or plan to do, they really mean it and are not joking or pretending His voice suddenly became more serious. a serious articleserious about Is she serious about giving up her job?deadly/dead serious (=definitely not joking) She sounded dead serious. Marry Frank? You can’t be serious!4 → serious attention/consideration/thought5 quiet/sensibleSERIOUS PERSON someone who is serious is very quiet and sensible, and does not laugh and joke much a serious student6 worried/unhappyWORRIEDSAD/UNHAPPY slightly worried or unhappy You look serious. What’s wrong?7 romantic relationshipFAITHFUL a serious romantic relationship is likely to continue for a long time It’s serious – they’ve been seeing each other for six months.serious about Are you really serious about her?serious boyfriend/girlfriend 8 sport/activity [only before noun]ENTHUSIASTIC very interested in an activity or subject, and spending a lot of time doing it He’s become a serious golfer since he retired. Chris is a serious photographer.9 very good [only before noun] informalGOOD/EXCELLENT very good and often expensive He’s got a serious car!10 large amount [only before noun] informalLOT/LARGE NUMBER OR AMOUNT used to emphasize that you are talking about a large amount of something In industry, you can earn serious money.COLLOCATIONSnounsa serious problemVandalism is a serious problem in the area.a serious injury/illnessThe driver was taken to hospital with serious injuries.a serious accidentHe is recovering from a serious accident.serious damageThe explosion sparked a fire which caused serious damage to their flat.a serious threatIn the developed world, over-consumption is now a serious threat to health.a serious crime/offenceKidnapping is a serious crime.serious troubleThe economy was in serious trouble.serious consequencesNeglecting to make a proper will can have serious consequences. THESAURUSvery badserious very bad – used about problems, accidents, illnesses, or crimesViolent crime is a serious problem in and around the capital.The boy was taken to hospital with serious head injuries.Fortunately, the damage to the car was not serious.severe very serious – used about problems, injuries, and illnessesHe suffered severe injuries in a car crash.The problem became so severe that they had to bring water in from other countries. severe epilepsygrave used about a situation that is very serious and worrying, especially because it is dangerous or seems likely to get worseA thick fog descended and I knew that we were in grave danger.The situation is grave – war now seems inevitable.acute used about an illness, problem, or situation that has become very serious or dangerous, and needs to be dealt with quicklyShe was taken to the hospital suffering from acute appendicitis.In San Diego, the shortage of skilled workers is acute.desperate used about a situation or problem that is very serious or dangerous, especially because a lot of people need urgent helpThe situation is desperate – people here need aid before the harsh winter sets in.The hospital is full of people in desperate need of medical attention.critical used about a situation that is very serious and dangerous and might get worse suddenlyIn 1991, the food supply situation became critical.Eight people were killed and four are still in a critical condition.life-threatening used about a situation, illness, or condition in which someone could dieHer child had a potentially life-threatening illness.The situation was not life-threatening, but it was very worrying.be a matter of life and death spoken to be extremely serious – used when a situation is very urgent or importantFor people living with HIV, getting the right treatment is literally a matter of life and death.not jokingserious not joking or laughing, or not pretendingHis voice sounded serious.They seem to be serious about their relationship.solemn very serious because of an important or sad occasion or ceremonyMy father looked solemn, the way grown-ups look at funerals.The judge read the verdict in a solemn voice.grave written quiet and very serious – used especially about the way people look when something important or worrying happensShe consulted Doctor Staples and returned looking grave.He listened with a grave expression on his face.sombre British English (also somber American English) /ˈsɒmbə $ ˈsɑːmbər/ written sad, quiet, or serious because something unpleasant or worrying has happened or is going to happenThey sat in sombre silence.The meeting began in a sombre mood.earnest very serious and sincere – often used about someone who is young and not very experiencedHe was a rather earnest-looking young man.‘That’s wrong, ’ she said, her voice sounding very earnest.
Examples from the Corpusserious• JJ and Chuck seemed pretty serious.• Laura was always very serious about her work.• The band are only young, but they're very serious about their music.• We both chuckled for a second, then got serious again.• Violent crime is a serious and growing problem throughout the country.• Friends described him as a serious and thoughtful man.• Paying serious attention to public opinion is a recent phenomenon.• All the other people in the office seemed to have a very serious attitude towards their work.• He's always serious, but he still makes me laugh.• Ben's been involved in a serious car accident.• We'll give your point serious consideration.• The recent storms have caused serious damage.• The climbers got into serious difficulties and had to be air-lifted to safety.• My brother is a serious golfer.• The boy was taken to hospital with serious head injuries.• A pregnancy undertaken at a time of serious illness or death of a family member will bear added stress.• All were treated at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, five of them for serious injuries, a spokeswoman said.• One scored a direct hit but, despite being showered with glass, there were no serious injuries.• First, because markets are imperfect in various ways they will tolerate serious levels of inefficiency.• I must admit I find the serious newspapers rather boring.• I've just had a serious phone call.• Violent crime is a serious problem in and around the capital.• I have serious reservations about the power supply being installed inside the box, it really isn't safe enough.• That's a pretty serious Swiss Army knife.• Unfortunately it was more serious than that.• Stahl is serious, well educated, obedient, ambitious, and keeps his sense of humor out of sight.• In the last two weeks, the situation has become more serious, with riots and strikes spreading across the country.• At school we had to read works by serious writers like Shakespeare and Milton.serious injury/illness/accident etc• But no complaints: up to now, I have never had a serious illness.• But there is nothing to offer those with more serious illnesses.• Police reported a number of minor incidents but no further serious accidents.• All were treated at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, five of them for serious injuries, a spokeswoman said.• Both occupants escaped serious injury but aircraft is a write-off.• Following a serious illness in 1744 she came to regard herself as sinful.• But it could mean the difference between financial security and financial disaster for you and your family should a serious accident strike.• It followed the discovery of a package that could have caused serious injury, writes Audrey Gillan.serious matter• Mr. Howard I agree that it is a serious matter.• The upset and damage which has been caused to us by these articles is an extremely serious matter.• This is a very serious matter.• This was clearly a serious matter.• Inquiry is a serious matter and should be done boldly, whether applied to innovation or ponderous theoretical matter.• The loss of potential output resulting-from involuntary unemployment is clearly a serious matter for an economy.• A politicized game is made out of serious matters to scholars and the field.serious about• Be serious about art, but joke a little about everything else.• Engelstad said lenders are urged to work with borrowers who are serious about keeping the mortgage.• If she is serious about knitting for other people she must do four things.• If you are serious about meeting your goals, telling the world in clear and certain terms will help you meet them.• The tabloids would never describe themselves as completely serious but we are serious about serious news.• I knew no girls who were serious about sports.• The business community is also seeking reassurance that Labor is serious about tackling inflation.• New York can't be serious about this.serious about• People in France are very serious about their food.• Stella, you aren't serious about this boy?• Look, I know you're not really serious about visiting, so quit pretending.serious money• Bricks and mortar used to much more than a sound investment - it was the best way to make serious money.• It is all about serious money.• Most have a core of solid businesses that ensure that at least parts of the firm are making serious money.• Or should they hang on in the hope that these assets will soon be worth serious money?• This was money, serious money.• To serious money and serious business, however, all this was anathema.• Judging by its state-of-the-art studios, the owners have put some serious money into NewsTalk.Origin serious (1400-1500) French sérieux, from Late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius