serious Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “serious” in the English Dictionary

"serious" in British English

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seriousadjective

uk   /ˈsɪə.ri.əs/  us   /ˈsɪr.i-/
  • serious adjective (BAD)

B1 severe in ​effect; ​bad: a serious ​illness There were no ​reports of serious ​injuries. The new ​taxregulations have ​landed some of the ​smallercompanies in serious ​trouble. Drugs have ​become a serious ​problem in a lot of ​schools. This is a very serious ​offence. He's been taken to ​hospital where his ​condition is ​described as serious but ​stable. [after noun] mainly Indian English very ​ill

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  • serious adjective (NOT JOKING)

B1 not ​joking or ​intended to be ​funny: Please don't ​laugh - I'm being serious. He was ​wearing a very serious ​expression and I ​knew something was ​wrong. On the ​surface it's a very ​funnynovel but it does have a more serious ​underlyingtheme.B1 A serious ​person is ​quiet, ​thinkscarefully about things, and does not ​laugh a lot: I ​remember her as a very serious ​child.

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  • serious adjective (DETERMINED)

[after verb] determined to ​follow a ​particularplan of ​action: Is she serious about going to ​liveabroad? [after verb] If two ​people who have a ​lovingrelationship are serious about each other, they ​intend to ​stay with each other for a ​longtime and ​possiblymarry: She's had a lot of ​boyfriends but Simon's the only one she's been serious about.

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  • serious adjective (NEEDING ATTENTION)

B2 [before noun] needing or ​deservingyourcompleteattention: That's an ​interestingjoboffer - I'd give it some serious ​consideration if I were you. We've got some serious ​talking to do, you and me.

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  • serious adjective (EXTREME)

informal extreme in ​degree or ​amount: We did some ​fairly serious ​walking over the ​weekend. I ​mean we're ​talking serious (= a ​largeamount of)money, ​right? informal very good of ​itstype: This is a serious ​wine, Belle, you have to ​try some.
(Definition of serious from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"serious" in American English

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seriousadjective

 us   /ˈsɪr·i·əs/
  • serious adjective (NOT JOKING)

not ​joking; not ​intended to ​amuse: You can never ​tell when he’s serious.
  • serious adjective (NEEDING ATTENTION)

needingcompleteattention: That’s an ​interestingjoboffer – I’d give it serious ​consideration if I were you.
  • serious adjective (BAD)

severe in ​effect; ​bad: Fortunately, there were no serious ​injuries.
  • serious adjective (DETERMINED)

determined to ​follow a ​particularplan of ​action: Is she serious about ​moving to Nevada? You have to ​start getting serious about ​yourstudies. If two ​people who have a ​romanticrelationship are serious about each other, they ​intend to ​continue the ​relationship and ​possiblymarry.
(Definition of serious from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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