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Wordnet 3.0

ADJECTIVE (6)

1. concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities;
- Example: "a serious student of history"
- Example: "a serious attempt to learn to ski"
- Example: "gave me a serious look"
- Example: "a serious young man"
- Example: "are you serious or joking?"
- Example: "Don't be so serious!"

2. of great consequence;
- Example: "marriage is a serious matter"

3. causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm;
- Example: "a dangerous operation"
- Example: "a grave situation"
- Example: "a grave illness"
- Example: "grievous bodily harm"
- Example: "a serious wound"
- Example: "a serious turn of events"
- Example: "a severe case of pneumonia"
- Example: "a life-threatening disease"
[syn: dangerous, grave, grievous, serious, severe, life-threatening]

4. appealing to the mind;
- Example: "good music"
- Example: "a serious book"
[syn: good, serious]

5. completely lacking in playfulness;
[syn: unplayful, serious, sober]

6. requiring effort or concentration; complex and not easy to answer or solve;
- Example: "raised serious objections to the proposal"
- Example: "the plan has a serious flaw"


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. [1913 Webster] 2. Really intending what is said; being in earnest; not jesting or deceiving. --Beaconsfield. [1913 Webster] 3. Important; weighty; not trifling; grave. [1913 Webster] The holy Scriptures bring to our ears the most serious things in the world. --Young. [1913 Webster] 4. Hence, giving rise to apprehension; attended with danger; as, a serious injury. [1913 Webster] Syn: Grave; solemn; earnest; sedate; important; weighty. See Grave. [1913 Webster] -- Se"ri*ous*ly, adv. -- Se"ri*ous*ness, n. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

serious adj 1: concerned with work or important matters rather than play or trivialities; "a serious student of history"; "a serious attempt to learn to ski"; "gave me a serious look"; "a serious young man"; "are you serious or joking?"; "Don't be so serious!" [ant: frivolous] 2: of great consequence; "marriage is a serious matter" 3: causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm; "a dangerous operation"; "a grave situation"; "a grave illness"; "grievous bodily harm"; "a serious wound"; "a serious turn of events"; "a severe case of pneumonia"; "a life-threatening disease" [syn: dangerous, grave, grievous, serious, severe, life-threatening] 4: appealing to the mind; "good music"; "a serious book" [syn: good, serious] 5: completely lacking in playfulness [syn: unplayful, serious, sober] [ant: playful] 6: requiring effort or concentration; complex and not easy to answer or solve; "raised serious objections to the proposal"; "the plan has a serious flaw"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

189 Moby Thesaurus words for "serious": abandoned, acute, afire, alarming, ardent, arduous, austere, awe-inspiring, bad, bound, bound and determined, burning, businesslike, cogitative, cognitive, committed, comprehensive, concentrating, concentrative, conceptive, conceptual, conceptualized, consequential, considerable, contemplating, contemplative, critical, crucial, dangerous, dangersome, decided, decisive, decorous, dedicated, deep, definite, deliberating, deliberative, demure, determined, devoted, devout, difficult, dignified, dour, earnest, elevated, excogitating, exhaustive, explosive, faithful, fatal, fateful, fell, fervent, fervid, fiery, flaming, formal, formidable, fraught with danger, frowning, full, genuine, grand, grave, great, grievous, grim, grim-faced, grim-visaged, hearty, heated, heavy, honest, hot, hot-blooded, humorless, ideative, impassioned, important, imposing, in earnest, inspiring, intense, intent, intent on, introspective, irresistible, jeopardous, laborious, life-and-death, life-or-death, lofty, long-faced, loyal, main, majestic, major, maximum, meditating, meditative, menacing, mental, mighty, moderate, momentous, moving, museful, musing, nasty, no joke, no laughing matter, no-nonsense, noble, noetic, obstinate, on fire, operose, parlous, passionate, pensive, perfervid, periculous, perilous, persevering, persistent, plenary, poker-faced, pondering, portentous, powerful, precarious, prehensive, pressing, purposeful, red-hot, reflecting, reflective, relentless, resolute, resolved, ruminant, ruminating, ruminative, sedate, serious-minded, severe, significant, sincere, single-minded, sober, sober-minded, sobersided, solemn, somber, speculative, spirited, staid, stately, steady, stern, stone-faced, straight-faced, straightforward, strenuous, strong, sublime, temperate, tenacious, thinking, thought, thoughtful, threatening, total, tough, ugly, unamusing, unfunny, unsmiling, urgent, vehement, vital, warm, weighty, white-hot, wholehearted, wistful, zealous