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Meaning of “serious” in the English Dictionary

"serious" in British English

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seriousadjective

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

B1 severe in effect; bad: a serious illness There were no reports of serious injuries. The new tax regulations have landed some of the smaller companies 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 funny novel but it does have a more serious underlying theme.
B1 A serious person is quiet, thinks carefully 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 particular plan of action: Is she serious about going to live abroad?
[after verb] If two people who have a loving relationship are serious about each other, they intend to stay with each other for a long time and possibly marry: 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 deserving your complete attention: That's an interesting job offer - 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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(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)

needing complete attention: That’s an interesting job offer – 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 particular plan of action: Is she serious about moving to Nevada? You have to start getting serious about your studies.
If two people who have a romantic relationship are serious about each other, they intend to continue the relationship and possibly marry.
(Definition of serious from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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